I just returned from the second annual Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (#DWEN) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where I met some of the most inspiring and successful women business leaders in the world. It was amazing to see the commitment that these women have to help each other succeed and grow. Women entrepreneurs truly share a unique perspective and approach to business—and Dell is focused on empowering them to achieve their goals, using technology to support and help them along the way.
More than 100 female business leaders from around the world gathered with us to learn about technology, marketing, brand, social media and raising capital while building relationships and sharing insights. It was an impressive group, with standout speakers such as Carley Roney, founder of The Knot; venture consultant Judith Clegg, founder and CEO of Venturing Unlimited and The Glasshouse; Leila Velez, president of the Brazilian beauty chain Beleza Naturals; Sarah Prevette, CEO of Sprouter and recent recipient of Inc.com’s 30 Under 30 honor; Neetu Bhatia, founder of KyaZoonga (India’s Ticketmaster); Amy Millman, president and co-founder of entrepreneur incubator Springboard Enterprises, and Reina Otsuka, founder & CEO of Ecotwaza, a leading eco-friendly Japanese product export company.
Moira Forbes, president and publisher of Forbes Woman, emceed the event and Arianna Huffington even joined us via Skype for a spotlight interview. Luiza Helena Trajano, founder of the third largest retail chain in Brazil, provided good (and humorous) insight into doing business in Brazil—a country where more than half of the entrepreneurs are women!
The event kicked off the event in true Brazilian style Sunday night with dinner and Samba dancing in the world’s largest green reserve, followed by a day-and-a-half of hard-hitting sessions focused on growing your business, reaching customers and leveraging data in unprecedented ways. You can visit Dell’s Flickr page to see videos and photos from the event.
Journalists and bloggers in attendance couldn’t wait to share their experiences at DWEN. Stories to-date include a USA Today on “How women entrepreneurs are changing the world,” a Fortune blog on “Business building tips from Brazil,” and an article on the CBS Interactive Business Network called “The one surefire way to market to women.”
There are few times in your career that you’re part of something amazing and magical and, for me, participating in DWEN was one of them. Not only did these women forge relationships and swap business advice, but deals were actually struck between investors and business owners during the three day event. The attendees will continue to stay in touch with each other through Dell’s LinkedIn community, Women Powering Business.
I’m already gearing up for the 2012 event which we’ll host in India next summer!