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Tech challenges within the Startup Community

We see women from various points in their business and their career journey at The Athena Network – from concept stage, to global roll-out, to corporate escalation and career growth. There’s a diversity of expertise and experience within the community – women covering the whole professional spectrum.

But what we’re finding, is that despite our professional differences, our challenges remain the same. Big corporations have the same challenges as small businesses; a web design agency the same developmental hiccups as an image consultant. Regardless of where we are in our journey, the struggles, and growth pains, are the same.

As a community we’re going through this discovery together, and it’s amazing to see how common challenges and successes have inspired a culture of collaboration, contribution and co-mentorship. Athena has really become a place to share lessons and experience as well as a place to share connections and build relationships.

Committed to this ethos, and to nurturing the career and entrepreneurship journey, we are proud supporters, and lead community partner, of Women’s Startup Conversations.

Startup Conversations is a monthly event for women who are exploring starting their own venture, or are in the midst of startup life. Facilitated by Dr Robyn Wilson, one of Singapore’s top facilitators and executive coaches, each month reveals interactive discussions around the practicalities and issues faced in the startups journey.

Last week we invited StarHub, our “Powering Women in Business” programme partner, to join a discussion on technology – and what it means to business and startups.

As mentioned in our previous blog on why we are partnering with tech giants Microsoft and StarHub, technology provides more reach, knowledge, flexibility, and scalability than ever before and yet technology and productivity remain as two key challenges for female entrepreneurs.

So during last week’s discussion, we really wanted to get into heart of tech challenges. What is the real pain and how it is affecting our businesses?

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With over 30 ladies contributing, a number of themes surfaced.

First, was the love/hate relationship with technology. Virtually everyone in the room understood that technology is a means to create more efficiency, productivity, automation, connectivity and passive income, but on the flip side of that, harbour feeling of confusion and not being able keep up – that technology and the tools available out-pace us.

Or perhaps more perplexingly, is knowing technology can help, but not understanding the problem or solutions well enough to make advances. On top of this, is that once we’ve identified our problem, lies the challenge of picking the right tools among the hundreds of tools out there.

Technology is a vast world. The right tools can literally make or break our businesses, especially in the early stages. Common problems surfaced: invoicing, manual processes, contact management, multiple software interfaces, team collaboration, online marketing and skills gaps – and all on a shoestring budget.

But as Sunny Chua, Solutions Consultant at StarHub put it, these challenges are universal; even with large corporates, exists challenges of resource allocation and making sure the right solutions are implemented.

We were grateful to have Sunny represent StarHub within the Women’s Startup Community and show their support to grow and develop the women’s business ecosystem. Their participation in the inaugural Connected Women – Powering Women in Business event is the first of a long-term initiative to make difference in the community and address these challenges.

With working and listening to the community, we are striving to put the support infrastructure in place to address the issues that affect us the most, through events like #PWIB13. Although Sunny put it aptly when he said, it’s not what happens at the event, it’s what happens after – it’s about providing things that are relevant and actionable to our businesses.

To join us at the ‘Powering Women in Business’ event on Tuesday, 26th November 2013, for keynotes by Jessica Tan, MD of Microsoft, and Pack Lum Mock, CTO of StarHub followed interactive technology training sessions, register here at the early bird rate of $100.

Join the conversation at Startup Conversations Facebook group

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Amanda Blum

http://about.me/amandablum

Amanda Blum manages content and ops at The Athena Network Singapore. Amanda started her Athena journey at The Athena Network’s headquarters in the UK, designing and managing operational systems throughout the region. She comes from a background in data analysis and workflow automation after transitioning from life as an Anthropologist in the USA. A person addicted to generating ideas and finding better, more efficient ways of doing things within a greater cultural context, Amanda’s interest lies in processes and behavioral trends – and how these things affect the human experience and society – from business and technology to communication, culture, sustainability and community. Connect with Amanda online and via LinkedIn.

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