The Nike Foundation (co-founders of the Girl Effect) and Unreasonable Group have partnered on an intensive two-week program for entrepreneurs leading wildly innovative startups that are positioned to benefit millions of girls in poverty: we are calling it the “Girl Effect Accelerator.”
The Girl Effect Accelerator launched our inaugural program in November 2014. We connected 10 select ventures with world-class mentors, strategic financing and access to a global network of support. The accelerator aims to rapidly increase the positive impact these ventures already have for girls living in poverty. We also welcomed 3 entrepreneurs in residence to join the program in an effort to help take their efforts to scale.
Khalida Brohi launched Sughar in 2009 (“Sughar” means “skilled and confident woman”) to provide opportunities to women and girls in Pakistan: such as resources to launch and sustain rural businesses in an effort to prevent “honor” killings. Her aim over the next 10 years is to change the lives of one million women and girls in Pakistan. She has been internationally recognized with awards from MIT, Newsweek, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and CNN.
Zubaida Bai is widely regarded as an expert and a leader in the field of engineering design for low-cost health products customized for the developing world. Zubaida’s work at the bottom of the pyramid demonstrates her passion for empowering underserved women and girls. Her company, Ayhz, designs vital healthcare products for women and girls in poverty. She has been awarded the TED Fellowship and Echoing Green Fellowship.
Megan founded ZanaAfrica with the conviction that sanitary pads and reproductive health education are not only a basic human right, but also address root causes of gender inequality. Based in Kenya ZanaAfrica manufactures and distributes radically affordable sanitary pads and underwear, coupled with health comics and underwear. They have served over 12,000 girls and plan to reach at minimum 1 million by 2020.