Ms. Ivy Barley a Ghanaian woman has an ambition of becoming Africa’s top women in technology.
She is the co-founder of Developers in Vogue, an organisation that trains females in the latest technologies to prepare them for the future of work.
Developers in Vogue aims to create a relevant community of highly skilled female developers who are passionate about using technology to revolutionise Africa and beyond.
In 2017, she won the prestigious ‘E skills for Girls competition’ award in Berlin, Germany. She was awarded €15,000, a mentorship programme from Google, and support from Impact Hub Accra.
She is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.
I met her in Nairobi. She was among the 12 African finalists selected for the Kwese Gogettaz entrepreneurship competition. She passionately talked on how social entrepreneurship is going to change how businesses will be done in the world especially Africa driven by women.
Tell us more about yourself and how you started?
I am Ivy Barley a Ghanaian and co-founderDevelopers in Vogue to train females in technology, coding, programming and connecting them to real-time projects and jobs.
While growing up, I always had a strong aptitude for Mathematics and Technology, and that has pretty much shaped my career path. I recently completed my MPhil. in Mathematical Statistics.
— Ivy Barley (@ibivarley) November 24, 2017
My first degree was however in Actuarial Science and secondary education in Business.
Initially, people used to say girls are afraid of technology, they are afraid of coding, but in that school, girls were always excited, they had great ideas.
When I left the college, I had this urge to start an initiative that would be something sustainable that would promote more women in technology.
What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
The main challenge was getting people to train the ladies. We wanted to train them with the latest technology and also keeping the ladies busy by supporting each other. At our coding bootcamps, females are taught how to code using a practical and project-oriented curriculum.
Do you plan to expand?
Yes. We did a pilot last year and we have validated our business model. So this year we are looking at expanding our work.
What is your life’s’ mission?
In the next five years I look at myself being the most influential women in technology and I want to inspire a lot of people especially women to go out and achieve their dreams.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I believe in Africa. I am very sad about the past and the current generation have the opportunity to make Africa better. Every day I wake up in the morning I think of how to make this Continent and my country better than it was yesterday.
I am also inspired by the impact we are making though we began small the fact that we have been able to make a change in people’s’ lives drives me to do more.
Tell me about Kwese?
It has been tiring because we began in August last year.
I have been following Strive Masiyiwa for many years and so when he announced the competition, I decided to give it a try and here I am.
I got a decoder and I started watching Shark Tank and other entrepreneurial programs. I am just inspired.
What lessons have you drawn on the journey?
The most important lesson is do not be afraid to take risks, do not be afraid to try anything.
Have a vision, where do you want your business to be like in the next five years and beyond.
Finally, establish valuable networks that can help you in the industry and support the work that you do.
The Gogettaz competition offers an investment prize of $200,000 to two lucky entrepreneurial ventures from anywhere in the world comprising of both the profit and non-profit ventures.
The two lucky winners’ one male and one female, will further get a two-week mentorship program by Strive Masiyiwa himself in a program known as the “Kwesé Entrepreneur Fellows”.