A WARM THANK YOU TO SHISEIDO FOR SUPPORTING THIS PROJECT & OUR WORK AT W4!
In spite of significant improvements in women’s access to education, there remains a disconnect between women’s educational attainments and women’s leadership in most sectors as well as women’s participation in the labor force as (social) entrepreneurs. The path of (social) entrepreneurship remains challenging for women who face numerous persistent barriers, such as a lack of training opportunities, networks and the difficulty of accessing funding.
The SOLUTIONS WE'RE PROPOSING
Research shows that access to women role models, mentors and networking helps to foster women’s professional advancement and this is also the case when it comes to women’s entrepreneurship. As the saying goes “if you can see it, you can be it”. Our programs provide young women–particularly from underprivileged communities—with mentoring, coaching, and networking opportunities, plus exposure to women role models, to support the women as they seek employment or to set up their own (social) enterprises. The objective is to provide aspiring young women professionals and aspiring (social) entrepreneurs with support that will boost their confidence, enable the women to develop valuable soft skills and encourage the young women to embrace their professional aspirations. Through professional mentoring, the program matches young women with mentors (who are experienced professionals working in different sectors) who share their time and expertise to help the young women develop key soft skills and build their inner power and confidence. The program also offers entrepreneurship skills training, and adapted mentoring for aspiring (social) entrepreneurs, again matching the young women with mentors who are more experienced entrepreneurs. Through W4’s partnership with the non-profit Zahara’s Dream, young women in the program can also participate in “Be You, Powerfully” webinars and workshops, led by experts, both women and men, who are leaders in various professional industries. Young women in the “Be You, Powerfully” program from low-income communities are also given a “power jacket” and other professional attire for professional interviews and meetings to help them feel job-ready.
THE IMPACT OF YOUR GIVING
By donating to this program, you enable young women to benefit from mentoring and networking opportunities and exposure to role models that can significantly boost their confidence and enable them to develop key soft skills that will help them succeed professionally, in employment or (social) entrepreneurship. The opportunity to benefit from mentoring and to develop key soft skills can have a powerfully positive impact on young women’s professional and personal development and this support can be decisive for young women from underprivileged communities who would not have access to such opportunities otherwise.