What were you dreaming up at age 15?
For me, it was creating my own line of mix CDs. I would spend full days selecting and burning the greatest hits from my monster Case Logic CD binder to demonstrate my superior taste in music. Of course the digital revolution proved this would not be a viable business model. But how fantastic would it have been to get a little guidance on that idea at age 15 and transform it into a modern, technology-driven business. I could have founded Pandora…
Last week a group of talented teens and tweens had the opportunity I never had: two-days of mentorship, networking and workshops with top global entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into reality.
The annual Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Summit (DWEN) connects 200 top female entrepreneurs to networks, knowledge, technology and capital to grow their business. And for the first time, we opened a Youth Track for girls and boys ages 12-18, to introduce the basics of STEM and entrepreneurship. The inaugural program connected 22 young world changers from 9 countries with top business leaders like Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of Girl Scouts, Iris Lapinski, the founder of Apps for Good, and Elliot Kotek, co-founder of Not-ImpossibleNow.com.
It was an action packed two days learning how to develop ideas and then ultimately pitch those ideas to the women attending DWEN. In the below video, hear what two participants, Ayanna Kai Morton, winner of the Seventeen Magazine STEM contest, and Ariana Freitag of Dell partner Girl Scouts of Central Texas, have to say about their experiences.
The Youth Track was a great addition to the DWEN program, and one we plan to continue in years ahead. But it’s not enough. We need more entrepreneurs mentoring and coaching young entrepreneurs. We need more ongoing programs like the Girl Scouts Digital Cookie program to develop the entrepreneurial spirit and build business, digital and technology skills.
At Dell, we believe that digital literacy and access to technology skills and tools at a young age are critical to future success and to ensuring jobs for a growing population. That’s why we’re advocating for the UN Sustainable Goal 8, and why as part of our Legacy of Good Plan, we invest our charitable dollars, time and expertise with the goal of serving three million youth around the world by 2020.
This is how we’ll create the future we want to see. What will you do? Join the conversation: #EntrepreneursUNite #LegacyofGood