Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund, U.S. State Department

Code on the Road: Empowering Women and Girls through Business Entrepreneurship and Software Training

“Code on the Road: Empowering Women and Girls through Business Entrepreneurship and Software Training” is the State Department’s Alumni Innovation Engagement Fund’s winning program founded by Aya Burweila in 2018 and her international team of dynamic women and men to empower women and girls through software and business entrepreneurship training in both Athens and Amman. This program was chosen out of more than 1,300 applications that year from around the globe and inspired the establishment of the Code on the Road as a civil society organization in December 2018 to provide a home for the teams and programs of the Alumni Innovation Engagement Fund.

The award was of $23,130 with corresponding cost-sharing by partners is allocated to the Hellenic U.S. Alumni Association for funding the programs carried out by the AEIF team. As part of the stipulation of the competition, the entire AEIF Alumni Team works strictly on a volunteer basis in carrying out the programs, set to finish in December 2022 after a hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  See our AEIF team here.

With the financial crisis and the refugee crisis putting a huge strain on Greece and Jordan, job market integration is a crucial foundation that will have strong benefits not only for women -native or migrant – but also for their children, family members and society at large. Often in crisis, women are hardest hit in terms of job loss and access. Despite this, women face additional challenges in accessing both educational and employment opportunities in comparison with their local peers. At the same time, local authorities around the world struggle with ICT skills gap and there is a sharp shortage of women with software skills. Nonetheless, women consistently receive messages both implicit and explicit that computer science and entrepreneurship is not a field for them. Our solution, with our distinguished local partners such as FUNZI, Kalam Research & Media, Finn Church Aid, the Melissa Network, iforU, Hadeel al-Qaq, Mataroa, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Excellence (CIEE) at Al-Hussein Technical University (HTU) and more is to provide beneficiaries with a multi-pronged and complementary solution: 1) FUNZI training courses in business entrepreneurship in person and online and 2) Software and coding workshops to teach beneficiaries the basics of what they need to launch their virtual businesses and set them on the path to become coders and 3) Entrepreneur 2 Entrepreneur Online Business Course 4) Our “Star Lecture Series” where our COR students receive lectures and an opportunity to interact and learn from celebrated experts in the field. See all our programs and lectures in the courses in our homepage menu.

Our holistic program will be available in both Arabic and English and accessible to all women and girls in Greece and Jordan to further promote integration and equality in society and the job market.