International Women’s Day 2015 with Google: Becoming a Digital Business Manager

MEST, Wednesday April 22nd 2015

MEST Business Fellow, Tolu Agunbiade shares her experience attending the Google organised 2-day women-only training workshop on Digital Business Management in Accra, Ghana.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2015, Google organised a 2-day women-only training workshop on Digital Business Management. The workshop took place in four African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) simultaneously from Tuesday (10 March 2015) to Wednesday (11 March 2015) and I was one of the selected participants for the Ghana workshop.

[Tweet "All too often women don't understand the power and strength they have in their environments."]

The room was filled with a diverse group of women from all works of life, united by one goal:  to setup and run a digital agency. It was impressive to see that although the program was a Google initiative, we were given a holistic learning experience on how small businesses can leverage online tools in general, and not just Google products, to grow successful businesses. We learned the role of the internet in business, how to develop the right digital presence, what tools are more effective for what kind of business (Facebook vs LinkedIn, Google for Business vs Twitter), how to optimise customer’s digital footprint, and steps to setup a digital business.

[Tweet "Don't always rely on government. Take charge and start making changes for yourself."]

One of the highlights from the workshop was the Google Hangout where we connected with successful African women to gain insights from their experiences, and to discuss the future of entrepreneurship and education for women. Our speakers included Anne-Rachel Inne, Vice President of Internet Co-operation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); Bukola Akigbade, CEO and founder of Bytesize; and Betty Enyonam Kumahor, Managing Partner of The Cobalt Partners. Some key takeaways from that conversation were:

  • All too often women don't understand the power and strength they have in their environments. We can spend at least two hours a month talking to girls who don't have exposure to programs or knowledge that we have.

  • We shouldn't always rely on government, we should take charge and start making the changes ourselves.

  • Define where you stand. Know who you are, what you want do and what you will do. Make sure your work speaks for itself. If you define your business well, you will realize there is something you are building that no one else is.

The workshop was both fun and challenging with class exercises and a final project. For our final project, we watched a case study of Adeko Minds and were split into two groups. Each group was tasked with coming up with a digital business strategy for the CEO of Adeko Minds based on the challenges mentioned in the video. This project tested our presentation skills and knowledge of concepts taught during the program, and was the right exercise we needed to test drive our new skills.

[Tweet "Define your business well; you'll realize there is something you're building that no one else is."]

To close off the program, we had a certificate award ceremony complete with an inspiring presentation by Nana, the owner of Bliss Yoga Accra, champagne and cupcakes. It was an enlightening experience, one I would definitely recommend to anyone, not just women, who wants to get into the digital business management.