Expanding the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network in Europe

Supporting women entrepreneurs and business since 2010, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) is a key component of our wider Women Powering Business community which actively engages with over 2,000 women worldwide with the goal of enabling accelerated opportunities for women business leaders to expand their networks, find valuable resources and showcase how technology can enable business innovation and growth.

Every year, we host an annual DWEN conference that brings together female founders, CEOs and innovative leaders who run fast-growth, mid-market companies from around the world to discuss their most pressing business issues and how the network and technology can help ignite growth in today’s increasingly global economy and this year, the event will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from June 2nd to the 4th. However, DWEN is more than an annual event, it’s a group of women founders from 11 countries looking to grow their businesses and connecting on social platforms. In between the annual event, intimate networking events are hosted by Dell and attended by DWEN alumnae and potential new members in major cities around the world.

Recently in Europe we hosted three of these networking events in London, Berlin and Paris. In London, on January 29th we welcomed existing and new DWEN members to the renowned Shakespeare's Globe in London. Against the stunning backdrop of the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, Dell brought together an inspiring group of more than 40 British female CEOs and business leaders to discuss best practices and open up new business opportunities. The evening event, co-hosted by Dell’s Sarah Shields, General Manager and Executive Director, Dell UK and Kathleen Schneider, Executive Director of Global Channel Marketing & Programs, attracted innovative leaders from both start-ups and high growth businesses including my-wardrobe.com, The Outnet, Upper Street, Lady Geek, Women Unlimited, Pinkspiration, Ariadne Capital, and Style Passport – just to name a few.

Our special guest speaker, Sarah Curran, founder of luxury online clothing empire my-wardrobe.com, gave an honest, entertaining and extremely inspiring insight into her business journey, the challenges associated with seeking funding, and becoming the CEO she wanted to be. Kathleen Schneider then hosted a panel discussion with Kelly McGinnis, Vice President of Communications and Public Relations for Dell, DWEN alumnae Belinda Parmar, Founder of Lady Geek, a campaigning agency that makes technology more accessible to women and girls, Kelly Dolan, from Entrepreneur Country, a publication aimed at entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners and media who believe that entrepreneurship is vital to the future of Europe; and Julia Grinham, CEO of Upper Street, a made-to-order luxury footwear label. The panel discussed key issues defining entrepreneurship in the UK, and the importance of networks, with Belinda Parmar commenting, “The DWEN conference is like a dinner party with everyone you would have wanted invited, but haven’t met yet.”

About the Author: Melanie Derome