Afghanistan’s first technology entrepreneur, Roya Mahaboob, will visit India to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017. She hopes to change the perception that “women cannot work in technology.” According to Deccan Chronicle.
Ms Mahaboob became an entrepreneur at a very young age. “The IT sector in Afghanistan was still very young when I became a CEO. Women were not allowed to go outside at the time. I was threatened by people. Men did not want to work for me and I wasn’t accepted as a tech entrepreneur initially. But I found the most powerful tool of this age – social media. Thanks to technology and the internet, I was able to get clients from beyond the borders of my country,” she says.
She has been the pioneer of the digital literacy campaign for women and children in Afghanistan. She is studying the way in which India is working towards improving digital literacy. “We are teaching people how to use computers. We have even gone a step further and are now teaching women about coding, robotics and artificial intelligence.”
She says that people’s perception regarding women in technology started changing when an all-female robotics team from her country met with Ivanka Trump in the USA.
Ms Mahboob was among the TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2013. She is trying to inspire more women to follow in her footsteps. “I have assisted 100 women with their start-ups. More female tech-entrepreneurs will mean fewer attacks. Eventually, it will change the way in which the world sees Afghani women,” she says. She calls women “calculated risk takers” and says that there are more ambitious than their male counterparts.
Ms Mahaboob says that she is excited and humbled to be participating in the GES; she thanks the government of Indian and the White House for picking her. Ms Mahaboob will speak on Technology and Innovations at the Summit. She hopes to meet many other entrepreneurs and inspiring young leaders from across the world and possible forge lasting business partnerships with them.