Thursday, October 19, 2006

What we are doing....

This adventure began many months ago when a friend, Tiffany, and I were eager to travel, but travel with a purpose. Tiffany and I are engineers for the same company and are constantly reminded of how lucky we are to be part of some of the most amazing technological advances the world has ever seen. In so many parts of the world, fundamental rights and basic education, let alone the opportunity to choose a career and earn a graduate degree in a field such as engineering, are not available to women. Tiffany and I wanted to use our education and years of student loans for a different objective, so we decided to volunteer our skills in an effort to open our minds and help women in need. That was when a Google search turned up the Women in Progress organization.

This is an amazing organization started by a woman who felt the same way we did. Women in Progress programs support the development of micro and small woman-owned enterprises through workforce training, new technology, and in-depth projects that focus on improving internal efficiencies, competing more effectively in existing markets, gaining access to new markets, and engaging in international trade. Women in Progress believe women entrepreneurs largely recognize what is needed to expand their businesses. In most cases, they lack resources (education, technology, and capital) to execute their ideas. By taking a long-term approach to women's business development, the organization helps women help themselves to independently improve business efficiencies, access new markets, and sustain business growth.

After many planning meetings with the organization, Tiffany and I will be traveling to Ghana this Holiday Season to put our specialized backgrounds to the test. Our original intent was to design, test, and build hardware needed to support the computer lab or the production area, but with the communication necessary to accomplish such a task it would not be feasible in the short time we have. Instead, we will be aiding in supply chain management, small business manufacturing problems, new business development and network software updates. We will also be spending the time keeping our eyes and ears open to design ideas that could help manage a business in the given environment. We hope to bring a design idea home to work on for future implementation.


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