In March, Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) and The Next Women hosted a Kitchen Dinner at The Clarendon in London that brought together an impressive group of more than 40 female CEOs and business leaders to network, hear from inspiring speakers and learn more about what Dell is doing to support women entrepreneurship.
Empowering women and their businesses is something close to our hearts at Dell and was the motivation behind DWEN – a network and annual conference that helps bring female business owners together, share best practices and open up new business opportunities around the world. This year’s DWEN conference takes place in New Delhi India – 17-19 June, an exciting location that is buzzing with economic growth and creative inspiration.
Hosted by The Next Women’s Founder Simone Brummelhaus, the gathering attracted innovative leaders from both start-ups and high growth businesses, such as Global Brainstorm, Upper Street TravelTrot Inc, EG Studio, Pensions First, Ernst & Young, Bit Zesty ltd. Startup Britain and Wildfire Interactive to name a few.
Keynote speakers Julie Meyer Founder, CEO of Ariadne Capital, and Karima Serageldin, Co-Founder and Partner of Ariadne Capital Fund Management, each spoke about their journey, some of the advice they’ve been given by family and friends and how they’ve made it all work. One piece of advice that stood out for me was ‘don’t work IN your business, work ON your business’ meaning everything you do each day should drive the growth of your business. With that in mind, you can take on each task with real purpose. Julie also talked about her relationship with her father and how it shaped the way that she perceives her potential and how she handles business today, which is something many of us can relate to.
Between courses we switched seats to ensure everyone had a chance to meet each other and talk about why they were there and, often times, how we could potentially help each other’s business.
As a fun part of the evening, women donated their services as raffle prizes, which included everything from a pair of personally designed shoes, to lawyer services and our donation of an XPS 13. Although, most women there agreed the opportunity to expand their network with other like-minded women entrepreneurs was the treat!
Austin Texas, Dell’s own JJ Davis shared the ethos behind the Network, while DWEN Alumnae Fiona Page, CEO of PensionsFirst Analytics, and Maria Pinelli, Global Vice Chair Ernst & Young, both shared compelling accounts of their experiences with DWEN & Dell overall. Fiona talked about her experiences at the 2010 DWEN Conference in Shanghai, as well as about how Dell helped her in the early stages of her business and has been a trusted partner ever since. Maria followed by stressing the value of women entrepreneurs learning from each other and what can be accomplished when we come together at events like these.
Seeing such enthusiasm, engagement and interest in DWEN, I left feeling inspired, as I’m sure others did, and full of ideas of how we can do more to support entrepreneurship. The Next Women is one of those organisations that is doing its part on a global scale to support and promote female-run businesses whether you’re a start-up or an expanding business. From kitchen dinners to mentoring programs, it is a fantastic resource for any entrepreneur. I’m excited about working more with the Next Women on other DWEN activities!
To stay up to date on DWEN, and share business pain points and tips, join our Women Powering Business Linkedin Group, and follow the DWEN & The Next Women Interview Series, for inspiring success stories from women around the world.