Women Entrepreneurs Discuss Real Opportunities, Real Solutions, at DWEN Summit

This week, women entrepreneurs from around the world are gathering in San Francisco for the 8th annual Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) Summit. Representing 20 countries and more than 20 industries, these business leaders will share best practices, collaborate on business opportunities and formulate action plans for the advancement of women entrepreneurs.

women gather at the opening reception for Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network DWEN 2017

Dell is committed to advocating for entrepreneurs, the engine for innovation, economic growth and job creation globally. With this year’s Summit theme, “Real Opportunities, Real Solutions,” attendees will take deep dives on topics including emerging technology trends, alternative methods of finance and how to approach business in changing political landscapes.

The festivities will kick off with a keynote by Nely Galan, entrepreneur, Emmy Award-winning producer and women’s empowerment advocate. More than 10 other influential women entrepreneurs will be onstage to share their advice and lessons learned. Some of these speakers include:

  • Nicola Blackwood, former member of parliament
  • Carolyn Rodz, founder of Circular Board, a collaborative accelerator for growth-oriented female entrepreneurs
  • Amy Millman, president of Springboard Enterprises, a non-profit venture catalyst for women-led companies
  • Eileen Gittins, CEO and co-founder of Bossygrl, a starter kit for female entrepreneurs, enabling women of all ages to create and grow real businesses, via their phones
  • Michele Perras, director of global ecosystem at Pivotal and advisor and mentor at Alchemist Accelerator, where she works with early-stage B2B/SaaS startups
  • Leah Busque, co-founder, executive chairwoman and former CEO of TaskRabbit, which was valued at over $100 million
  • And many more passionate women entrepreneurs

Fostering a powerful community of women entrepreneurs and leaders starts with our girls, so we are thrilled to bring back the DWEN Girls’ Track developed for ages 12-16. Few programs today equip girls with the skills to pursue their career interests and passions. This is especially true when it comes to Science, Engineering, Math and Technology (STEM) – fields often dominated by males and now critical to building a successful business. As DWEN connects female entrepreneurs with networks, sources of capital, knowledge and technology, the Girls’ Track invests in girls so that their path to entrepreneurship can be a guided one.

WE Cities 2017 Ranks Top 50 Cities for Women Entrepreneurs

At DWEN Summit, we’ll be releasing results from our 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities) – a unique global study commissioned by Dell to assess and compare cities around the world in terms of their ability to attract and foster high-impact women entrepreneurs.

This year’s WE Cities ranks the top 50 cities – expanding on last year’s count of 25 – for women entrepreneurs based on five key pillars: market, culture, capital, talent and technology. This analysis provides data-driven research and clear calls to action to improve the landscape for women entrepreneurs, which in turn dramatically lifts a city’s economic prospects. For further analysis of results, check out the full report.

Since its inception, DWEN has fostered a community of like-minded women who are looking for opportunities to grow their businesses. Every year, I am so inspired by the women (and girls!) attending DWEN Summit, and I expect this year will be no different as we welcome our largest and most diverse group yet. You can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #DWEN, or by following @DellInnovators.

Video highlights from the 2017 DWEN Summit are now available to watch here:

About the Author: Karen Quintos

Karen Quintos is Dell’s first Chief Customer Officer (CCO), leading a global organization devoted to customer advocacy. Under Karen’s leadership, the CCO organization defines and develops Dell’s customer experience strategy and programs, with the goals of maximizing customer satisfaction, acquisition, retention and profitability. Karen is also responsible for Dell’s strategy and programs for Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity & Inclusion and Entrepreneurship — business imperatives she is passionate about and that matter to our customers and team members around the world. Previously at Dell, Karen served as senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer; vice president of Public Sector Marketing and North America Commercial; and she also held executive roles in services, support and supply chain management. Karen joined Dell in 2000 from Citigroup, where she was vice president of Global Operations and Technology. She spent 12 years with Merck in marketing, operations and supply chain leadership positions. Karen earned a master’s degree in marketing and international business from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science in supply chain management from Pennsylvania State University. She is on the board of Lennox International and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She is also on the board of Penn State's Smeal College of Business, and a 2014 recipient of its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award. Karen was listed among the most influential CMOs in the world by Forbes, and named 'Mother of the Year' by Working Mother magazine. She resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three children.