identify a problem in the local community to solve
The Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition revolves around teams of girls identifying a problem in the local community that they would like to solve. This year we encourage teams to align the problems they identify with the UN development goals around poverty, environment, peace equality, education and health, although this is not mandatory.
The focus on problem solving encourages young people to solve young people’s problems. So not only do teams of girls take ownership over a problem that’s important to them that effects the lives of people they know, but also, they are empowered to develop a practical solution to that problem.
We provide the guidance, the role models, tools and techniques needed to help girls to brainstorm and define the problem with the view to creating a useful solution. Problems that have been solved in past years of the competition are carpooling, saving the local river and the local environment, gamifying literacy, encouraging children to read, wellbeing and many many more.
One reason why we emphasise entrepreneurship and problem solving in the Search for the Next tech girl’s super hero and not coding perse, is that the research suggests girls prefer to build technology if they are solving a problem and there is a social benefit or outcome.
Girls tend to not want to build technology for technologies sake, unlike many boys they want to have a purpose to what they do. This has been described as a tool vs toy phenomena where girls generally see technology as a tool to get something done and to achieve a purpose whereas boys are often quite happy to use it as a toy and play games. We don’t want to generalise to much but there is certainly evidence that there are trends around these behaviours.
Clearly list the problem you plan to solve in your business plan.