Women of Influence attendee at 11, business owner at 12

Women of Influence attendee at 11, business owner at 12

A year after attending the Women of Influence Forum in Auckland, Jaskiran Rahi had started a business.

There’s nothing particularly unusual about that – except that Jaskiran is only 12 years old.

Last September, the young Wellingtonian attended the 2017 Women of Influence Forum in Auckland where, despite being the youngest person in the room she, made the largest of impressions on the audience of 500 mainly business women.

Invited to speak on stage, Jaskiran told the audience she wished to forge a career in computer coding but she was conscious it could be difficult for young women to get into.

“When I first went to a coding class I was the only girl there and I felt left out and I didn't want other girls to feel that way,” she told the crowd.

The Queen Margaret College student wanted to set up a company called Spirit and Soul, a social enterprise, which would aim to empower girls to do anything.

Following the Forum, Westpac’s general manager of commercial, corporate and institutional banking, Karen Silk, arranged for Jaskiran to have a mentor work with her to help her towards achieving her dream and her goal.

And less than a year later, Spirit and Soul was launched. Jaskiran brought in three female speakers to share valuable experiences from their lives, with young girls in the audience at the launch, and was a big success.

Ms Silk says she was impressed with Jaskiran’s determination and her desire to help other young girls achieve their goals.

Jaskiran is returning to this year’s 2018 Women of Influence Forum this September 18, where she will hear from inspiring speakers such as the youngest Member of Parliament in 42 years, Chloe Swarbrick; brain and mental health researcher Dr Hinemoa Elder; and former New Zealander of the Year and anthropologist Dame Anne Salmond, and will make a guest appearance on stage.

To join Jaskiran and others at the event, get your WOI Forum tickets now

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