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Free programme launched to encourage women to code

27 Nov 2012

A free programme is being launched to teach women how to code and encourage them to consider a career as a tech entrepreneur.

The programme, Code First: Girls, will be held over the summer in 2013 and is being run by Entrepreneur First, a non-profit organisation that helps UK graduates create their own tech start-ups.

Around 30 female graduates will be able to join the first Code First: Girls course, receiving four hours tuition a week, including in-person lectures and tutorials.

More graduates may be able to join the programme, depending on funding.

The course will teach the logic behind coding, the different languages and how they interact, and how to create simple web applications that turn ideas into working prototypes. Each participant will also be assigned a female mentor from the industry to provide support and guidance.

The programme is being officially launched on Tuesday at the Guildhall in London and speakers will include a number of female entrepreneurs, such as Decoded co-founder Kathryn Parsons and Unruly Media co-founder Sarah Wood.

Over 100 female students or graduates will also be attending the launch.

Entrepreneur First chief operations officer, Alice Bentinck, said the programme was being launched because of a lack of girls on the Entrepreneur First initiative.

"We have around three girls taking part out of 30 participants. Others tell us this is good but we think we can do better," said Bentinck.

"We have met women on campuses and often one of the things holding them back from starting up a business is a lack of tech skills."

Bentinck said often the women met on campus have great ideas for tech start-ups but their lack of coding skills mean they cannot see if the ideas are viable.

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