Six months into the most unexpected year, it  has been a journey of its own. The pandemic brought out a new digital lifestyle we are all forced to embrace, while uncertainty and chaos looms over our heads. But as everybody is accepting the new normal, we have some exciting news to share. Women in Cloud and SHEROES are announcing a collaborative partnership to advance women tech founders and leaders in India to drive economic development goals.

SHEROES is the world’s first and largest women-only social network, exclusively designed around the needs, goals and aspirations of women Internet users. Based out of New Delhi, SHEROES leverages technology to solve the problem of gender disparity in India. Accessible via Sheroes.com and the SHEROES app, the platform is the largest online ecosystem of 20 million users, supporting women. Their offerings can be accessed over communities, a free-to-use counselling chat helpline, resources, mentorship, peer-to-peer conversations, a marketplace, a reproductive health tracker and opportunities for women. SHEROES is reimagining how women use, experience and benefit from the internet.

Women in Cloud is extremely happy to announce this partnership, which will help our network to gain access to the vast and talented women-only SHEROES network. We are also looking forward to achieving the following joint goals:

  1. Launch The Women in Cloud India Accelerator to boost economic access in the enterprise markets
  2. Host CloudInnovateHERxIndia Pitch Challenge to showcase enterprise ready solutions
  3. Inspire women to participate in Global AI Solution2030 design contest for designing solution for India market
  4. Engage women to join #EmpowHERAccess campaigns to create awareness about women’s contribution to the economic prosperity in India & across the global.

This partnership is also an effort to carry forward the Global Expansion Plan in India, where the curtain-raiser took place in August 2019. 

According to Nasscom, the cloud market in India will grow 3-fold to USD 7.1 billion by 2022, one of the fastest in the world, yet women tech founders are not well presented in driving economic changes. Female Entrepreneurship Index is 70 out 77 as presented by the DWEN Research. Policy makers in India are currently investing in entrepreneurship & economic empowerment for self reliance. This partnership allows Women in Cloud to provide women tech founders exclusive access to Microsoft Cloud Accelerator, to help build inclusive solutions and influence technology-focused job creation in the India market. 

“What makes Women in Cloud powerful is our community. By sharing our stories, we inspire innovation. By banding together, we change laws. By leveraging our personal networks, we create new opportunities. It is through collective action that we will help women entrepreneurs access $1 billion in economic access by 2030. We are thrilled to join forces with SHEROES to reach our goal while also helping female tech entrepreneurs in India create economic opportunities,” said Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-founder and President, Women in Cloud.

“Our network has unparalleled reach and depth with women users across India. SHEROES is also helping enhance women’s social, economic and digital footprint, and part of this mission has always been to support more women building and owning the technology that runs the world. We’re extremely excited to partner with Women In Cloud as part of their plan to expand their footprint in India, and co-curate initiatives that can further move the GDP and gender index here,” commented Sairee Chahal, Founder & CEO, SHEROES on the partnership with Women in Cloud.

Both our communities are absolutely elated with this partnership and we are determined to help our society and community be a better space for women entrepreneurs and leaders to find their success. 

This is a huge step towards ensuring economic access to women tech founders in both India and the United States. Stay tuned for more updates!

Today, Women in Cloud released a report highlighting the results of their recent survey of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women technology entrepreneurs. 

The report indicates that the average loss of revenue in the next 24 months, across 57 women tech entrepreneurs surveyed expanding 16 industries, is $500 thousand to $1 million per company. An additional $1 million to $5 million per company is expected in opportunity loss over the next three years. 

Most organizations surveyed also reported on the operational disruptions they’ve experienced as a result of the pandemic. In addition to business activities that were impacted by the lockdowns such as events, networking, meetings, and company-wide social gatherings, 63 percent of survey respondents indicated that they will not be conducting any business-related travel in the next three months. At the time of the survey, 60 percent of respondents had mandatory work-from-home procedures in place for their organization and employees.

Respondents who indicated higher financial loss and/or a greater number of operational disturbances reported a more negative emotional impact and higher stress levels among themselves and their team. Overall, almost half of the women technology entrepreneurs who responded, across all industries, indicated that the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak has been negative or somewhat negative for themselves and their staff.

In addition to eye-opening statistics and insights, the report also includes turnkey solutions for governments, enterprise companies and entrepreneurs to increase diversity, representation and inclusion in their operations and opportunities for women technology entrepreneurs.

Read the full COVID-19 Impact Report here and find key information and highlights on the attached fast-sheet. 

Special Thanks to our Partners & Sponsors: Founders Live, WIT Network, IAMCP, EQUALS, M12 and Microsoft


[This is an excerpt from Giovanna Mingarelli’s keynote address during the Women in Cloud #CloudInnovateHERxDigital Pitch Challenge on May 1, 2020]

Today, due to COVID-19, we are faced with a situation like never before where society’s basic structure has been dismantled. As an entrepreneur and a business leader, this was not something I had expected to face, but here we are. 

I am a Canadian business owner living in the United States and an advisor to Women in Cloud. I love Women in Cloud, its an incredible organisation which focuses on building better, safer and more inclusive communities. We need to be physically isolated but socially connected and organisations like Women in Cloud allow us to do just that.

We have all been experiencing COVID-19 in many different ways. If we look at current data from Export Development Canada: more than 3 Million people have been affected, 75 percent of the airline industry is shut down, 50 percent of GDP in the US and Western Europe including Canada is in free fall, in the first quarter of the year. These statistics are unprecedented and also globally representative.

And yet, organisations like Women in  Cloud are striving to bring us together and conduct virtual events like the #CloudInnovateHERxDigital Pitch Challenge, to help build new businesses. We’re now faced with the incredible opportunity to build bridges between yesterday and tomorrow, where things are going to change drastically.  

Many are now starting to talk about COVID-19 recovery, including: the Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, to name a few, who expect recovery to start mid-2020 somewhere around June.  This is positive, considering countries are also lifting lockdown orders in a few areas. 

However, our businesses stand affected. Business hours have decreased, many of them have shut down and mass unemployment is looming over us. Suffice to say that we and our businesses have been collectively impacted.

Most business planning for the year has become redundant. Two of the things that has happened as a result of this, especially in the technology sector is:

  1. There is a need for aggressive innovation and 
  2. Supply chains that are essentially broken down, need to be rebuilt or pivoted. 

Let me tell you my story. I started off the year strong with multiple launch events at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos. We hosted a launch event for the international youth empowerment organization, Global Dignity’s new Dignity in the Workplace initiative. This is an organization which I have Chaired in Canada for the last eight years and for which I’m on the board of directors globally.

Co-Founder of the Maverick Collective, Kate Roberts, and I also made an announcement for Women in Cloud’s $1 Billion Public Policy Economic Access Campaign called: The 21 days of Economic Access, which would move on to be shared 600,000 times on social media, despite it being launched in the first week of COVID-19 shutdown. I was feeling great and my company was looking at very healthy revenue for the first quarter. 

Shortly after, in mid-February, COVID-19 was the talk of the town. Business started to look and feel very shifty. And within a week the contracts that we had been relying on for the first quarter started to freeze.

Suddenly, everybody around me had the same thought: what is going on?

This was true for other business owners, entrepreneurs, charities, non-profits etc., where collectively we were experiencing similar issues but there was no clear direction or understanding of what to do. Within a couple of weeks, 100 percent of our contracts froze and everyone around us was affected.

Here are some of the key trends I observed in the business sector, to this effect:

  • Contract freezing
  • Investment stalling
  • Cash flow uncertainty 

These trends were experienced by most in my networks. A variety of US and Canadian relief loans were announced by our respective governments, but we know that sometimes government programs can take time to kick-in effect. Of course, they require that we qualify and get approved. In the meantime, people had businesses to run and when cash freezes, that can paralyze operations. 

In the midst of it, the most important thing to do was to not panic. Everyone else was experiencing similar conditions to us, including our contractors and vendors, suppliers.

We were able to successfully navigate through the difficult social business uncertainty by: 

  • Giving people the benefit of the doubt (i.e. not “locking in” on outstanding debts, giving flexibility to overdue invoices, etc.)
  • Supporting and taking care of others (checking in on employees, vendors contractors – asking, how can I help you?)
  • Continuing to give, even when it was very hard to do 

The second important step was to aggressively pivot the business sales pipeline. We pivoted to temporarily only focusing on our executive and corporate branding offering. We focused our sales efforts on what our clients and their networks were able and open to purchasing in the moment.  

As a business, it was important to hold off on lofty goals and to focus on the core services that would bring in cash to sustain business operations. 

Since our pivot, we are now looking at double the projected revenue than we had previously for our first quarter! 

Ultimately, with the outbreak of the pandemic, we went from all of our contracts freezing, to building a new sales pipeline, aggressively seeking new contracts and successfully navigating a very difficult time. 

As we continue to navigate through COVID-19 and all of its socio-economic implications, I recommend focusing on the following: 

  1. Take care of everyone around you
  2. Give people the benefit of the doubt
  3. Be focused, and pivot if needed, to bring in cash 
  4. Sell what you can – as best as you can
  5. If you need to, apply for emergency loans and secure the cash for what is essential to keep operations going

I believe the most sane and noble thing we can do to survive this pandemic is to help each other. This is my most practical advice. Moving forward, I would encourage everyone to stay positive, be strategic and to join the Women in Cloud community.

About Giovanna Mingarelli:


Giovanna Mingarelli is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of M&C Consulting, Inc. and MC2 Inc., both founded in Ottawa, Canada. Her reach extends from Arviat, Nunavut in Northern Canada to the White House in Washington D.C. and beyond to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meetings in Davos, Switzerland and Dalian, China. She is Advisor to Women in Cloud and on the Board of Directors of the youth empowerment organization, Global Dignity. She lives in between Seattle, Washington and Ottawa, Ontario. Visit: www.giovannamingarelli.com for more.  

The beauty of the Women in Cloud Economic Access Campaign is, everyone does their part to create a culture of inclusion that allows every person access to the resources needed to make their vision a reality. This allows for collective action and growth of everybody involved in the ecosystem while making a measurable impact. 

I found out about Women in Cloud about a week before the Women in Cloud Summit 2020 and decided to attend it because I sensed a focused, powerful energy in the leadership team. My experience at the summit compels me to act now in this 21 Days of Action, a part of the Economic Access Campaign. As a co-founder and CEO of a start-up, I know first hand the challenges that come with creating/building a business from an idea, a passion and vision for the future. Our company is still in the initial stages of growth with no monetary resources to spare, but we sure have the experience and tools gathered through those experiences to help other entrepreneurs embarking this journey.

Through my involvement, I want entrepreneurs and leaders to realise the resources needed to see their dreams become realities and I want their teams to feel excited about their contributions to the bigger mission. I want people to feel supported, inspired to go big and be celebrated for their successes.

My only goal to achieve is to promote, true and inspired action. This was the key take away I had from the Women in Cloud Summit and I aspire to inspire others in a similar manner. 

I will support any woman leader on her road to success. And personally, I truly believe that people truly do care and are ready to take action!

So come join me and the Women in Cloud to help create an economic impact in this world through the Women in Cloud Economic Access Campaign! 

About the Author

Laura L. Ciel MA, PsyD is an expert in leadership, human performance, emotional and energetic intelligence, resilience, organizational and individual health and morale, transformation and turning life’s challenges into opportunities. In addition to her BA in Economics from UCLA, her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and Leadership Training with CTI, she has more than 25 years experience teaching, training, interviewing, writing and guiding individuals and teams in a variety of industries from nonprofits supporting films to global relief, banking, finance, start-ups, hospital teams including palliative care, legal firms, film industry, and various lifestyle leaders and companies.

She knows that every challenge offers an opportunity and her desire to serve the world has not dimmed since she first felt inspired to help others around the globe when she was a little girl. She is passionate about honoring the uniqueness of every person. To bring light and play into her life, you might find her swimming in the ocean, hiking in the mountains, laughing with her family, practicing her French or Spanish, adventuring around the world or dancing to hip hop.

https://www.nineqco.com/

Women in Cloud, is pleased to announce Automaton as the winner for the Inaugural #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge. This pitch challenge was designed to showcase enterprise solutions developed by women tech entrepreneurs. 

Women in Cloud is a community-led economic development initiative taking action to accelerate massive societal impact at an unprecedented pace. We are going to generate over $1B in net new global economic access for women entrepreneurs by 2030 through partnerships with corporations, community leaders, and policymakers. 

Women in Cloud’s programs are designed to help female tech entrepreneurs to win enterprise opportunities, get access to cloud credits, get access to subject-matter experts & executives, a global network with the ultimate goal of creating economic growth and job opportunities that are aligned with the UN goals.

“We were excited to launch #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge as a global platform to showcase enterprise-ready cloud solutions developed by female tech entrepreneurs. The opportunity brought to light various solutions that addressed process automation to customer acquisition,” says Chaitra Vedullapalli, President of Women in Cloud.  Automaton took home $10,000 in cash and access to Cloud Accelerator as the winner of #CloudInnovateHER Pitch Challenge. 

Automaton is founded by MH Lines, CEO in 2018. Automaton makes sure every lead reaches sales, email sends don’t have broken links that landing pages are populating and analytics are tagged as expected. Automaton acts like an army of robots that test your forms, data routing, emails, and integrations and then make sure each reaches its destination exactly as expected. By taking a proactive approach to managing errors, testing data routing, and managing integrations, our customers save hours each day and thousands in wasted advertising.

This experience was supported by industry leaders like Microsoft, Meylah, Archive360, M12, and others, who are also core contributors to creating access to enterprise business opportunities to more female tech entrepreneurs. We received many inspiring and innovative solution nominations.  Solutions were evaluated for originality, market feasibility, and use of Cloud and AI solutions. We would like to thank everybody for participating and supporting our mission. For more information about Women in Cloud and the join the Cloud Accelerator.