Samaya was a founding member of the team that developed the award winning Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, a global network of female CEOs, founders and presidents. The network is active throughout the year and hosts an annual international, invitation-only conference. Having recognized the enormous growth potential of successful women entrepreneurs, Dell realized that focusing on women leading high-growth companies would be a way to differentiate itself from competitors.
Rather than creating a media campaign, Dell wanted to create something more experiential, and, ultimately, more meaningful. After identifying four areas in which women entrepreneurs struggle—networks, knowledge, capital, and technology—they offered women business leaders an opportunity to deal with these challenges. This took shape as a 75-person, invitation-only conference in Shanghai, at which globally recognized speakers and participants could connect and learn from one another. Curated by Stephanie Goodell, it was an outstanding success.Having seen the value firsthand, Dell called upon Samaya’s expertise to transform the program into a year-round initiative. Regional events were added, as well as virtual networking opportunities. Today, the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) is known as a best-in-class program with over 600 CEOs having attended the global summit. It has expanded to include a global research initiative—Gender-GEDI—that measures and ranks 30 countries on the conditions that foster high growth for women-led enterprises.
DWEN events are a delicate balance of social and stage time, including interactive workshops, high-level panels, interactive discussions, and skill-building labs. Because of the high level of relationship building they facilitate, problems are solved, new opportunities are discovered, and businesses grow. And because of Dell’s reputation as the trusted IT advisor to women-led businesses, when there is an opportunity to purchase, these women do.The connection among these women and with Dell is so valuable that the DWEN e-newsletter has an outstanding open rate: four times the industry standard. And the media is paying attention: a total of 348 articles mentioned a recent Austin conference, coverage that generated 51 million media impressions. These stories reach women who are growing their own businesses, inspire the next generation, and reinforce Dell’s commitment to creating success stories for women in business.
- Kay Koplovitz, chairman of Springboard Enterprises, an accelerator program for high-growth women entrepreneurs, made a connection at DWEN that led to the expansion of Springboard into Australia.
- After the first DWEN, women entrepreneurs, such as Heidi Messer of Collective, hosted follow-up gatherings in their homes to recruit additional women on behalf of Dell. Even during a massive snowstorm, 100% of invitees showed up for Messer’s invitation-only dinner in NYC.
- Lili Hall of KNOCK, inc., and Elisabete Miranda of CQ fluency, developed a mutually beneficial relationship. KNOCK developed the rebranding identity elements and strategic positioning for CQ fluency, and in turn, CQ fluency is the go-to resource for KNOCK for multicultural communications that are locally relevant as well as accurately translated.
That is so much more than an ad campaign could ever do.