Photo: Helen White
This week, we feature a restaurant owner fighting for refugee rights, a company that makes toys for girls with an engineering edge, a woman fighting for an end to unhealthy cultural practices and much more in this week’s edition of World Wide Women.
Nahji Chu is a name that has been whispered through the streets of Melbourne and Sydney this week, as the woman locally known and the “Rice Paper Roll Queen” was announced as ambassador for Refugee Week this coming June. Born in Laos, Chu’s family escaped during the Pathet Laos Regime to spend over three years moving between refugee camps across Thailand before being granted refugee status to move to Australia. Growing up to complete a wide array of studies across the fields of journalism, animation and eventually catering, Chu established her own catering company, miss chu, followed by numerous tuck shops across Melbourne and Sydney selling and delivering her famous rice paper rolls. If you’re keen to know more about Chu, or maybe just to see what’s on the menu, check out her website and read more about her business and her work for refugees.
That wonderful slogan was brought to you by Servane Mouazan, the founder of the company Ogunte. Mouazan’s incredible company was established in the UK to help women learn, lead and connect through social enterprise, encouraging women to act on entrepreneurial opportunities with positive social impacts. Mouazan spoke to the Guardian this week about her business and what makes it so important. Read the interview here, and then check out Ogunte’s up and coming events (with teleconference options!) here.
Male dominated industries today include engineering and, more surprisingly, the toy manufacturing business. Upon realising this, Debbie Sterling decided to take action by creating her own engineering-inspired toy for a young female market. After graduating as an engineer from Stanford University, Sterling decided that the best way to get more women into the industry was by starting young, and so Goldie Blox was born! The product sees children use problem solving and basic maths skills to help Goldie and her dog Nacho build lego-like structures to help them play. Check out some of Sterling’s business tips here.
Women’s rights activist Bogaletch Gebre was announced this week as the winner of the King Baudouin Prize in Belgium for her work fighting female genital mutilation. Based in Ethiopia, Gebre’s company KMG Ethiopia uses community conversations and discussion groups to make rural, often illiterate and poverty stricken communities aware of the negative health implications of the cultural practice. Through her work she has reduced rates of female genital mutilation in target communities from 100% to 3%. Read more about Gebre’s outstanding success here.
Wondering what women are up to in the world of technology? Check out Women 2.0, a media company that offers aspiring female innovators in tech a space to voice their opinions, share their experiences and access business information and advice. Co-founded by Shaherose Charania and Angie Chang, Women 2.0 advertises women’s events and promote female run businesses via their Female Founders link. Up and coming events they’re promoting include a Global Pitch Competition, and the Lean Start-up Conference. The conferences might be held overseas, but news from the events and links to some of the innovative female entrepreneurs using the Women 2.0 network can be found at this link!