Derya Sousa, Kianda Technologies – A Finalist in the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award Category
4th April 2022
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Title and Company Name
Derya Sousa – COO and Co-founder of Kianda Technologies
Sector & size of operation
IT sector employing 15 people with customers across the globe – Europe, US and Australia.
Kianda provides a no-code application development and process automation platform that empowers people with or without programming skills to create the technology they need to simplify and accelerate digital innovation in business.
You originally hail from
I was born in Istanbul, Turkey and moved to Portugal to pursue a master’s degree and lived there for 5 years. In 2007, I moved to Ireland.
Single or relationship
Married with two kids.
I co-founded Kianda with my husband, Osvaldo Sousa.
What is the best part of your job
The best part of my job is to hear our customers tell us how we have changed their day-to-day job and positively impacted their businesses.
I get enormous satisfaction knowing that we are making the creation of technology more inclusive by empowering innovators regardless of their programming skills to create technology they need. Seeing our vision coming true, is truly motivating.
And the most challenging
Maintaining a work-life balance can be a big challenge at times. There is no magic formula to maintain the balance.
I don’t necessarily think we must put a hard line between work and life. Instead what I do is to try to make them work together in some kind of harmony.
Your definition of success
For me success is the journey. As an entrepreneur building a startup from the ground up, the journey is never ending. It teaches a wide array of skills and is a great learning experience. Ultimately success is to keep going on the journey, believing in what we do and perseverance.
I am a positive and passionate person. I am genuinely passionate about what I believe in. I love what we do at Kianda and get a great sense of fulfillment from running the business.
I see positivity as a choice and I choose to be positive. It is about approaching challenges in life with a positive outlook.
Not being patient at times. Often, I need to remind myself that patience is a good thing.
Biggest ‘win’ to date
My biggest win to date was winning the Entrepreneur of the Year award in Women in IT in Ireland. Winning this award is not something that is just for me. It made me feel that I belong to something larger than me. I realised that I am part of a long generation of women who have struggled along the way just like I have, to get where I am today.
Who inspires you most
Growing up I admired my dad, who was an electrical engineer with a passion for technology. He used to make me wonder what a life in tech would be like. I was also inspired by my mum. Like many others my journey to becoming a female entrepreneur in the tech world has had ups and downs. However, from a very young age I had a strong mind set thanks to my mum. She would push me to my limits, to challenge myself in whatever I was struggling with.
I now empower and teach both my daughter and my son through action because I know how important it is to educate our children the right way from a young age.
Name two things on your ‘bucket list’
First on my list is to travel to Japan, specifically to see Kyoto. I am fascinated about the Japanese culture and life style.
The second thing on my list would be to give a TED talk. The idea of it scares me a lot but I would love the challenge one day.
What does it mean for you to be a woman in business today
Unfortunately, ‘women in business’ is still in its infancy. Sometimes I think we have achieved a lot compared to what it used to be like a 100 years ago. The reality today though is much darker than this. Every minute there are women being threatened, discriminated, abused and killed just because of their gender. There is still a lot of work to be done here.
Women are not equally represented in many areas of business – management, entrepreneurship, politics, tech and more.
As women in business we must provide opportunities for other women who are becoming professionals and leaders – to support and inspire each other for a better future.
Best advice to pass on.
The best advice I can give is never give up. Whatever it is you are dreaming of, keep trying. Honour the women and men that came before you by persevering and realising your dreams.