Rachel Sibande is not only a female computer scientist but also techpreneur from Malawi. She is the founder of mHub – A technology hub and incubator for innovators and emerging entrepreneurs, the first of its kind in Malawi.
Talking about Sibande, she is additionally a reknowned innovation advocate who got the Anita Borg Scholarship from Google in 2015 and was named one of Africa’s 30 most promising entrepreneurs younger than 30 by Forbes, in 2016.
In an interview for the book titled Founding Women, she shared her experience with her juggling family, entrepreneurship, as well as academic career.
Sibande explained how she ended up setting up mHub, which started in 2012 as she was selected to attend the Young Africa League of Nations Program. The program gave her the platform to travel to the US—which was the first time of her life—and an opportunity to have an internship in Chicago for six weeks.
During the period, she visited a hub and incubator for entrepreneurs which she found very intriguing. As a result, she was motivated to utilise a similar thought in her nation. From the outset, she didn’t execute it immediately since she was inadequate with regard to capital. Realising that all she had was her technology skills, she then decided to take part in volunteering projects to gain relevant experience.
One of her volunteering projects was developing a tech solution for election monitoring. She and the team created a platform that enabled people to send reports of incidents during the elections via the web, mobile, social media, or SMS. According to Sibande, being a mother and wife while having a career is not easy. However, planning everything is the key to have them all in balance even though sometimes you have to decide what you should put as your main priority. Despite the hardship, you need to manage your role as a wife, mother, and career woman.