As part of our ongoing tech female spotlight, we are featuring and celebrating dynamic tech female entrepreneurs who are using unique opportunities to create meaningful innovations and community engagements that affect humans globally. For this edition, we are presenting Ethel Cofie, the CEO of Edel Technologies; a company that understands that the bottom line of business is to be more efficient , effective and increase profit. Read this article about her and get inspired!
Ethel is a technology entrepreneur, CEO Edel Technologies, and a Mandela Fellow for President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Ethel has a Computer Science degree and a Masters in Distributed Systems from Brighton University. From the outset, she has been a “techie” and also held tech jobs. She has worked on a lot of ground-breaking technology projects such as Bill and Melinda Gates Mobile technology for Health project and the Ford Foundation’s Election Monitoring Project for Nigeria . Ethel has equally worked in the corporate industry as head of commercial solutions for Vodafone in Ghana where she garnered management skills.
Washington Fellowship Involvement and Experience
The Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a life-changing experience, the aim is to take promising Africans and have them to spend some time in the USA in an institution of learning. I spent six weeks in Yale University School of Management. I also spent some time meeting US government business officials.It is very much a high class business networking experience and I spent 8 weeks with a venture capitalists to understand what venture capital was. It is a wonderful program that opens doors, gives one the exposure and opportunity to be part of Africa’s best and brightest. It was a good experience for me, and I had the opportunity of meeting with Michelle Obama, United Nations ambassadors and high ranking US officials.
Ethel is the CEO of Edel Technologies, Co-founder of Africatwentyten.com; an accelerator, Founder Women in tech Ghana and currently working on Women-In-Tech Africa.
Edel Technologies is my technology company. Edel technologies builds software at the core of it. At Edel, we love to work with companies to see where we can add value, where technology can enable, grow and strengthen businesses. We use strategy and technology for business growth.I am looking forward to more jobs that use technology for development.Personally, I have worked with Gates Foundation on a Health project and I want to do more of such projects in the years to come.
Women In Tech Ghana is a not-for-profit network of women. It is a safe place for women to come and share their experiences, grow each other, give each other opportunities and to support girls to join the industries and equally to provide role model support. For the International Women’s Day, we organized a 2-day event. The first day featured a series of presentations and speaking; In Ghana the Microsoft Country Manager is a female and she spoke to us on what her journey has been and personal branding. And a half-a day training on the second day for female entrepreneurs in Ghana by women in tech group.
There is no such thing as a typical day for me. There are two things that drive my day, urgency and importance. And sometimes when something is important and there’s no time to do it, it hardly becomes urgent. I work backwards. I know what my values are and I know what I want to achieve. I usually have a long to-do list but my plan for the week and month is based on what makes the greatest impact. I typically pick the three things that make the greatest impact. It’s a 80-20 rule; 20% of what you do make 80% of the impact.
Brand and Focus
I have always done things in a smaller capacity over the years. People who have known me all these years have known that my brand has been obvious. I used to live and work in London, and I was very much active with girls in London there, I ran BarCamp Africa UK. People who know me aren’t surprised that the brand has come this far. I have been doing this for 10 years plus now. More people just started hearing about me because of the CNN and BBC exposure, but nothing has really changed. It takes a long time to become an overnight success.
I always take an opportunity to learn. I read when I travel or on the flight.The most effective learning ways for me are learning from Youtube and from my mentor. My mentor keeps me focused, helps me find value and balance my life. I make sure to listen to a video a day. There are loads of online courses that are also beneficial.
Run your own race and choose your own path. I have an interesting career and I have done things I have done but everybody has different paths and strengths. I am very particular about people figuring out what their strongest skills are not just what you learnt from school. Then build your career along those strengths, sometimes it is something that you learn along the way by different situations that present itself and also by what you enjoy. You should not copy people because you won’t be original. For women who want to be in tech, do it, find where your strength lies and maximise on your strengths and do not be afraid to be criticized.
My best stories are my failures. I started my tech company and it failed after a year, I stopped the company and took a corporate job to learn some things I didn’t know before I started again. My biggest successes have come from my failures.
Thank you Ethel for sharing your story!
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