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'Geek’ Girls Prove Tech Is Not Just for Boys

Screen shot of Liger Learning Center's website in Phnom Penh.
Screen shot of Liger Learning Center's website in Phnom Penh.

A small group of women technologists made the semi-final round of a global entrepreneurship competition recently, after designing a mobile app that could help farmers get better prices for their goods.

The group LiGeek, from the Liger Learning Center in Phnom Penh, consists of five girls, including a 14-year-old, and even though they did not make the final round, they proved that technological innovation is not just for boys.

They were among semifinalists from 60 countries around the world competing in this year’s Technovation contest, which aims to empower young women to be problem-solvers.

Their app, ImEX, creates an online market for farmers, where they can sell their products, pairing consumer demand with farmers supply. The team learned their skills at the Liger Learning Center, in Phnom Penh’s Kien Svay district.

They developed their own business plan and tools to create the app, in part due to help from Development Innovations, a USAID-funded project to support technological development in Cambodia.

About two thirds of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 30, and each year, more and more students graduate with degrees in information and communication technology. That has created a lot of opportunity for entrepreneurial startups, like 2013’s Osja Studio, which created a wildly popular puzzle game called Asva the Monkey.