#DWEN: Dell Empowering Women Challenge

Fresh off an exciting DSIC Awards this month and being at DWEN this week with Karen and team, I’m really excited about today’s announcement of a spotlight channel to find solutions to empower women and girls. The Dell Empowering Women Challenge is part of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, the world’s largest social innovation community that challenges university students to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems with transformative ideas and which runs over an entire academic year. My goal is for us to inspire at least 100 innovative ideas from around the world, with an emphasis on the need to increase entrepreneurship in developing markets.  

I have seen some amazing ideas come from the passion and enthusiasm of university students and am excited to see how they will propose tackling the myriad of challenges that women and girls face in our world. Ranging from addressing health and sanitation issues  in India providing skills based training and job opportunities in Nepal to stopping violence against women in the Congo – these are just a few of the ideas that I hope see participate in the Dell Empowering Women Challenge.

The really amazing part of the challenge is that 50 semi-finalists will receive mentorship from Dell and members of the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), a community of around 400 established female founders connected to Dell. I’ve been with some of these awesome DWEN women this week and they have a wealth of knowledge, experience and passion. One member from each the top three teams will receive an all-expense paid trip to pitch their idea at a special awards event in December 2013, where the winning submission will be announced and receive a $15,000 cash prize. All finalists will be automatically entered as semi-finalists for the 2014 Dell Social Innovation Challenge, the umbrella competition focused on social entrepreneurship.

Challenge Details:

  • September 23, 2013: Deadline for entrants to register online at www.DellEmpoweringWomen.org
  • October 4, 2013: 50 semi-finalists will be announced  
  • November 8, 2013: 3 finalists will be announced
  • December 2013: awards event
  • The winners and the 10 promising projects will share a total of $35,000 in cash prizes
  • FREE to enter the competition
For further information, or to enter, please visit www.DellEmpoweringWomen.org. Let me know what you think and if you have any questions via Twitter @TrisaDellCRO.  

About the Author: Trisa Thompson

Trisa Thompson is the Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Dell, with responsibility for Dell's global giving and sustainability. Previously at Dell, Trisa served as Vice President, Legal, for the Global Operations, Marketing and Product Groups, and was a member of the Legal Team for 12 years. She was the founding co-chair of the Women's Networking Group, W.I.S.E., at Dell, and also serves on the PRIDE Executive Board. She is also a member of the Global Giving and Sustainability Councils. Trisa joined Dell in June 1998 from the Washington, D.C. office of Seyfarth, Shaw. Trisa was a partner with Seyfarth in its Government Procurement Law practice. She specialized in federal, state, and local procurement law and litigation. She joined Seyfarth directly out of law school in 1986.