Enterprising Women Vol 10, No 2, 2009

enterprising Women 59 Nike Foundation programs target adolescent girls worldwide C ecelia Katungwa, 23, lives with her brother and little sister in Mukuru Fuatanyayo, part of the largest slum in Africa. Following her mother’s death from tuberculosis when she was only 13, nuns raised Cecilia in a Children’s Home. Two years ago Cecelia entered a busi- ness plan contest and won $200. With her winnings, Cecilia bought her first knitting machine and started her busi- ness. Today, she has an established shop in the Kenyatta Market in Nairobi and employs two other young women. She has also cultivated her leadership skills as a Chairwoman of Smart Girls Youth of Life, a savings alliance for young women ages 15-25. More than 2,000 young women have found ways to conceptualized an idea, launch and run a business, providing new pathways out of pov- erty through Technoserve’s Young Women in Enterprise program. This program, as well as others through- out the globe that work with ado- lescent girls, is funded by The Nike Foundation. The Nike Foundation is invest- ing in what they call “the girl effect”: the ability of adolescent girls in developing countries to bring unprece- dented social and economic change to their families, communities and countries. Established in 1994, The Nike Foundation is working with local and national nonprofit organizations, such as Technoserve. Technoserve’s program begins with life skills and entrepreneurship training and builds from there: offering training mod- ules based on employment goals and mar- ketplace demands, mobilizing community members to develop curriculum and serve as trainers and mentors, and sponsoring a business plan competition that gives prize money to start an enterprise. The program has gone a step further by providing girls ongoing support as they start and grow their businesses. Joyce Waithaka, 20, is another young woman that has started a busi- ness thanks to Technoserve. Joyce was raised by a single mother in Muchatha, Nairobi. She won a busi- ness plan contest when she was 18 and opened a bakery. She now employs two other young women, including an orphan, because “if they make money and learn a trade they won’t participate in behaviors that endanger themselves.” Joyce and Cecelia were two of the ten girls and young women who recently received communications training through a Nike Foundation-funded program and administered by Vital Voices. Vital Voices Global Partnership is the preeminent non- governmental organization (NGO) that identifies, trains, and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world for all. They provide women with the capacity, connections, and cred- ibility they need to unlock their leadership potential. The girls in the training were the key speakers at the Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation corporate launch in Nairobi in December. Their audience included the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Michael Ranneberger, as well as many Kenya government officials and executives from U.S. and African corporations. Throughout the course of the three-day training, the young Kenyan women explored The ‘Girl Effect’ and Future of Change