Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship

by HERA (Her Economic Rights and Autonomy) France Association
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship
Prevent Trafficking in Women thru Entrepreneurship

Project Report | Aug 14, 2019
HERA 2019 Summer Update - Volunteering for HERA

By Lynellyn Long, Ph.D. | HERA Founder and France Association Member

Summer in Regents Park Race
Summer in Regents Park Race

This Summer Update recognizes all our donors and volunteers.  As you may know, HERA has only one paid staff person. Our work depends almost entirely on our volunteers, who organize and run our day-to-day operations and on private individual donors and foundations, who support the costs of running our entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and grants to women-owned ventures, to prevent and address trafficking.   Our volunteers include women and men in financial services, academics, law, social services, marketing, and business. As a group, we are lawyers, engineers, bankers, investors, economists, coaches, counselors, artists, consultants, and business professors, etc.  Several of us are entrepreneurs.  As volunteers, we give of our time, experience, and expertise.  HERA also depends on a unique group of donors who share our vision that supporting women’s entrepreneurship helps to prevent trafficking while allowing young women survivors and those at risk to make valuable contributions to their societies, local economies, and economic development.

Not surprisingly summer remains HERA’s busiest season of the year as it is a period when many of us can take some time to help in teaching, assessing, coaching, and advising young women survivors, women entrepreneurs, and young women at risk of dangerous migration and trafficking.  This summer the HERA volunteers have helped with fundraising, organizing and delivering the 12th London Entrepreneurship and Mentoring program, and with launching our 10th International Grants Competition.

In early June, the “Summer in Regents Park Race” brought together eight volunteer runners, who competed to raise funds for HERA. A majority of the runners came from the National Physical Laboratory. Meanwhile, HERA’s UK Program Director, a HERA trustee, and one of our former students cheered them on and organized a picnic after the race for all contestants. 

This summer ten volunteers, currently residing in Germany, France, Italy, and the UK, read and ranked 176 applications from women venture owners for our International Grants’ Competition. The Competition was again held for women entrepreneurs from four countries – Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.  Two former grantees in Armenia – a farmer and a beekeeper - voluntarily organized and delivered seminars for new venture owners to prepare and translate their applications. Former grantees from all four countries, including a group of women refugees in Ukraine, distributed our competition announcement.  Several NGO partners, including Armenia General Benevolent Union, Caritas, Orran, and Homeland Development Initiative Foundation in Armenia; the Center for Training and Consultancy, Rural Development Association, and Elkana Biological Farming Association in Georgia; and our long term partner, Fermierul de Sud in Moldova, vetted applicants to submit serious proposals in English. The volunteers’ and NGOs’ support in all four countries resulted not only in the most proposals HERA has received to date but also, some of the best. Thus, the four assessment teams of eight volunteers plan to visit 45% of the ventures in each country and to meet with all our local partners.

This summer many volunteers supported Sarah Videau, HERA’s Program Director, and Professor Ebrahim Mohamed, our Academic Director, to run the 12th HERA London Summer Entrepreneurship training for 22 young women survivors of trafficking and other forms of violence. The women participants averaged 30 years in age and ranged from 18 to 43 years. Students were referred by previous HERA graduates and several UK charities including, Hackney Migrant Center, Women at the Well, Hestia, Hibiscus, Medaille Trust, Refugee Council, RCDOW and Rahab. All took time and effort to identify a diverse and highly qualified group of young women to attend this year’s course.  The largest number came from Albania and Nigeria with the remaining from Philippines, Cameroon, Angola, Kenya and Eritrea.  According to Amanda Pelham Green, CEO and Founder of Odyssey Mentor Ltd., this year’s class was “Truly, the most interactive and engaged group I have worked with at HERA to date.”[1] 

The Entrepreneurship course covered a wide range of topics, including ideation and concept development, professional networking, accounting and finance, business planning, marketing, design thinking and pitching. The modules were taught by experienced professionals, entrepreneurs, and academics, who volunteered time and expertise. Universities and businesses provided the venues and in-kind support. Most sessions took place at Imperial College’s Invention Rooms at the White City Campus. Salesforce and the London School of Economics (LSE) also hosted sessions. The students experienced London business hubs starting with the Brigade, a social enterprise supported by Price Waterhouse Coopers followed by a market exercise at Borough market. Students visited a London startup, Zzish, where Founder, Charles Wiles, and COO, Daisy Hill, shared their experiences. The three-week training culminated in the students pitching to a panel of entrepreneurs and business experts:  Grace Olugbodi and Lucy Smith, two successful women entrepreneurs; Dr Nadia Millington, LSE Professor; and Ian Zilberkweit, Founder of Le Pain Quotidien. The students’ pitches covered beauty, catering, fashion, social care and well-being ventures, which they will develop further over the coming year with their mentors, who all volunteer their time.  

In early July, HERA UK Trustees, Anne Waldron and Joanne Chidwick, ran two training sessions for this year’s 18 mentors.  The first evening session was held at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP’s Office and the second, online. The mentors learned mentoring and coaching techniques with a focus on listening and communication skills, maintaining boundaries, and managing expectations. The trustees will provide continued supervision and support to the mentors over the coming year to help address any queries and provide guidance.  

Finally, without our donors, none of these volunteer efforts would be possible. We thank our donors not only for your financial contributions but also for your good advice and belief in this work.  Many of you have also been volunteers, served as mentors and international assessors, or through our volunteers and the HERA women themselves, you learned about our work.  In the days ahead, we will continue to depend on our donors’ support and many different volunteers to mentor, organize, teach, assess, advise, and all the other ways that you engage with and help young women survivors and those at risk of trafficking and dangerous migration become autonomous.  Please know that your contributions matter and make a difference.

[1] Permission has been obtained from the individuals cited in this report.

Amanda Pelham Green's CV and Interview Session
Amanda Pelham Green's CV and Interview Session
Professor Ruth Bender (Cranfield) teaching Finance
Professor Ruth Bender (Cranfield) teaching Finance
HERA Students Preparing the Final Pitch
HERA Students Preparing the Final Pitch
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May 16, 2019
HERA 2019 Spring Update

By Lynellyn D. Long, Ph.D. | Founder & France Association Member

Feb 22, 2019
HERA Winter 2019 Update

By Lynellyn D. Long, Ph.D. | Founder and HERA France Association Member

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Project Leader:
Lynellyn Long
Sancerre , France
$263,338 raised of $500,000 goal
 
1,716 donations
$236,662 to go
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