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Rene Parker

Rene Parker is the CEO and Managing Director of RLabs and played a leading role in transforming RLabs into an award winning global social enterprise from the humble beginnings of a community project in Cape Town. Rene has a passion for empowering women in technology and business and entrepreneurship. She has been the driving force for RLabs Women training programs and the founder of Junk.fund an innovative funding and support network for women in business. She was a 2019, 2020 and 2021 Africa Netpreneur Prize Semi-Final Judge, a programme created by Jack Ma and run by the Jack Ma Foundation, which aims to support and showcase African Entrepreneurs. #ANPI. Rene also served as a board member of the Living Labs in Southern Africa (LLiSA) network where she fulfilled the portfolio of Capacity Building, Community Development and Communications and is a founding member of the Western Cape Government youth development network currently focused on driving youth economic empowerment through technology, entrepreneurship and innovation. Rene was a Winner of the Inspiring Fifty South Africa 2019 Award, an initiative that aims to increase diversity in tech, by boosting the visibility of female role models in STEM. Rene represents RLabs as one of the founding members of the AfriLabs Network which is a network organization of 174 innovation centers across 45 African countries where they support hubs to raise successful entrepreneurs that will create jobs and develop innovative solutions to African problems. Rene is also on the #i4Policy Task Force that brings together ecosystem leaders across Africa in co-creating a policy vision that has been presented at the African Union as the first African Innovation Policy Manifesto.

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