Co-Founder and President
Virginia Littlejohn is Co-Founder and President of Quantum Leaps. As Senior Advisor on Women’s Entrepreneurship to the OECD’s Small and Medium Enterprise and Entrepreneurship program from 1996 to 2006, she co-organized 3 global and 2 regional women entrepreneurial best practice conferences in Paris and Istanbul.
Quantum Leaps was created in 2002 to share best practices, and to spur development of a global women entrepreneurial ecosystem. Ms. Littlejohn provided initial incubation for the Global Banking Alliance for Women; incubated WEConnect International; and created Roadmaps to 2020 and Beyond for the US and major Indian cities. She is currently incubating FutureForward, designed to close the innovation gap between male and female entrepreneurs.
Since 2010, she has served as the Lead International Consultant for the Women & Trade program of the International Trade Centre (a joint agency of the UN and the World Trade Organization in Geneva). She also wrote ITC’s SheTrades Call to Action, designed to bring 1 million women to market by 2020.
Ms. Littlejohn was President of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) in the United States, and VP of the World Association of Women Entrepreneurs. She was one of three architects of the Women’s Business Ownership Act, signed by President Reagan in 1988. She previously served on the National Women’s Business Council; on the American Express Small Business Partnership Advisory Board; on IBM’s Small and Medium Business Research and Technology Advisory Board; on the advisory council of the Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders (GWEL) Scorecard sponsored by Dell; and as North American Jury President for the Cartier Women’s Business Initiative Awards. She currently serves on the Walmart International Advisory Council; the Enterprising Women Magazine’s Advisory Board; and as a US representative to the W20 (Women’s 20) engagement group for the G20 countries.
She has received the US Small Business Administration’s first Women’s Business Advocate of the Year Award in 1980; received NAWBO’s Legacy Award; been awarded the Applause Award by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC); the President’s Award by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) in the US; the Priyadarshini Award by the Federation of Indian Women Entrepreneurs (FIWE); the Champions Award by WEConnect in India; the Lifetime Achievement Award by the China American Business Women’s Alliance; the Lifetime Achievement Award by The International Alliance for Women (TIAW); been inducted into the Enterprising Women Hall of Fame; and been inducted into the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Hall of Fame sponsored by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce (AIDC), and received its Trailblazer Award.
Research & Communications
Clayton Johnson provides Quantum Leaps’ research, communications, design, and digital media services. He also maps women entrepreneurial ecosystems, and was the lead global consultant for Vital Voices’ map of the ecosystems for its 18 business women’s network in Latin America, SubSaharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa, published in 2013.
Clayton has contributed substantial writing and editing to City Roadmaps to 2020 and Beyond for cities in India, including Bangalore, India’s IT capital, and the National Capital Region, which includes Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon. For his work with Quantum Leaps’ incubator track, and its FutureForward initiative, Clayton has written case studies of women entrepreneurs who have used advanced technologies to grow their businesses, and done research on disruptive technologies such as big data and analytics, artificial intelligence and cognitive computing, sensors and the internet of things, and smart grid.
An ardent history and foreign affairs buff, Clayton lived in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for 10 years prior to his work with Quantum Leaps. While there, he owned an export company that sold high-end historical miniatures to collectors in Europe, Asia and North America. He moved back to the United States in December 2015.
big data and analytics partner, Athena Infonomics
Deepa Karthykeyan is Co-founder and Director at Athena Infonomics, a data-driven global consultancy. Athena Infonomics in based in India, with additional offices in Kathmandu, Washington DC and Abuja, Nigeria. Deepa is passionate about driving innovation in the areas of governance and public policy through extraction and use of high-quality data, deployment of social science research methods, and new age technology.
In her capacity as founder-director, Deepa has led the design and implementation of over 70 programs for various governments in Asia and Africa in the areas of service delivery, financial inclusion, and governance, with a special focus on leveraging technology and data for bridging the gender equity gap.
Deepa has also worked closely with various state and federal agencies in the Government of India and various multilateral and bilateral organizations, international NGOs and foundations, including UN Women, UNICEF, the World Bank, USAID, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to improve women’s participation as economic agents in growth.
Deepa holds a master’s degree in Economics from the National University of Singapore. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Bangalore University.