Roya Mahboob

Technology entrepreneur and co-founder, Digital Citizen Fund

Technology entrepreneur Roya Mahboob was born in 1987 in Iran, where her family was exiled during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the subsequent Taliban takeover which precipitated the destruction of girls’ schools across the country. Her family finally returned to Afghanistan in 2003, and Roya went on to gain a computer science degree from Herat University. In 2010 she co-founded a software company, Afghan Citadel, which won contracts with private companies, government ministries and NATO.

She also co-founded Women’s Annex Foundation (now Digital Citizen Fund), a non-profit organisation that seeks to increase digital literacy by the establishment of computer labs where women and girls learn to use social media and produce content for which they are paid. In 2013, beset with death threats, Roya was forced to move to America on an expedited visa. She has since formed a new company, EdyEdy, an online learning platform.