Many girls in developing countries don’t have the means to continue their education beyond primary school and this leads to an uncertain future, but an innovative program launched by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) called Girls Empowered by Microfranchise (GEM) is guiding them to start their own small businesses.
Funded by the Nike Foundation, the program aims to empower girls living in slums and informal settlements by providing them with economic opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty. GEM offers a two-week business management training program after which participants choose between creating local franchises of East African businesses such as Kenchic, a poultry processing and fast food chain, or Darling, a hair additions (braids, weaves, extensions, wigs) enterprise that also operates a hair dressing academy.
“GEM prepares them to manage local franchises of well-known East African enterprises such as Darling hair products.”
Trainers and mentors from local IRC partners and participating companies like Darling visit the girls daily once they have opened their business to offer advise ranging from daily operations to growing their business and entrepreneurial support.
With the goal of reaching 2,400 girls in Kenya, the IRC, which offers similar programs in Sierra Leone, Haiti, Liberia and Egypt, is the only organization that supports microfranchising exclusively for youth in countries emerging from conflict. For more on the IRC and how you can get involved, click here.
This post was inspired by Sophia Jones-Mwangi’s original article on the IRC blog. Check it out here! Above photo by Sophia Jones-Mwangi.
Thank you IRC for making our world wonderful.
LET ME KNOW, REPLY BELOW: Which business franchise do you visit most often?