October 11, 2013

International Day of the Girl—How You Can Help Educate Girls Globally

Meet two young female entrepreneurs in high school whose goals are to contribute to the education of girls in developing countries

Social entrepreneurs have a vision to make a difference with their ideas and create change in a positive way.  Most of them want to provide others with educational opportunities, jobs and a better way of life. In the U.S. entrepreneurs and small business owners are the lifeline towards a stronger economy.  In developing countries like Afghanistan and Rwanda, women entrepreneurs inspire women and girls to get an education and fight for the rights of the girls in their respective country. These women  understand their country’s future will be determined through the education of girls.

Mary Grace Henry

Mary Grace Henry

Mary Grace Henry, a junior in high school is the founder of Reverse the Course is one teen entrepreneur is making a difference. At the age of 12 Mary Grace decided she would learn to sew and make reversible headbands.  The funds raised from the sale of the headbands educated one girl in Kenya. Fast forward to 2013 and Mary Grace’s business, Reverse the Course, provided funds to educate 35 girls in the Maasai tribe. The Maasai is one of the African tribes who continue to hold girls back. The tribe still believes in marriages of young girls to older men along with other customs centuries old. Reverse the Course has an entire collection of hair accessories in all types of colors, prints and styles. The money raised recently is educating 35 girls, many for several years.  Mary Grace took her creativity and passion to create a fashion company that provides African girls with an education.

The second young female entrepreneur is making difference with educating girls in Nepal. In turn these girls help break the cycle of poverty in their country.  Lindsay Brown, founder of SEGway Project (Soccer Empowering Girls Worldwide and You) was the 2012 winner of Seventeen Magazine’s “Pretty Amazing ” contest. The story behind Lindsay starting the non-profit SEGway Project began after she spent a summer in Nepal teaching soccer to young girls. She saw how soccer gave the girls more confidence in school and the courage to stand up and use their voices in class.  Lindsay and her soccer teammates at Notre Dame baked tie-dyed cupcakes to donate funds to She’s the First. Today 300 cupcake teams have raised money in 30 States and four countries to send 100 girls to school in Asia, Africa and South America.  Lindsay’s September 10, 2013 Seventeen blog post encourages girls to make a difference in the education of girls by joining the She’s the First Third annual Tie-Dye Cupcake Bake-Off.  It is during the week of October 25,2013  to November 1,2013. Lindsay and the SEGway Project are asking girls to support Girl Rising by signing up to be part of the Tie-Day Cupcake Bake-off.

Lindsay Brown

Lindsay Brown

Educating girls across the world is not just a one day project.  Your business can become an activist without spending money to promote your cause.  Social media platforms will help spread the word. Look at the Girl Rising and She’s the First web sites to ignite your creativity. Perhaps you will become a new teen entrepreneur or expand your current business to include supporting one of them.

Sylvia Scott, Founder and CEO,Girls’ C.E.O. Connection™

Co-author: Realizing a Vision, Your Toolkit for Success. Words of Wisdom for Young Female Entrepreneurs  (Scheduled for June 2016)

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