Startup Stories: Creating social and economic change by supporting women entrepreneurs

Think Global Institute (TGI)

Tell us about your product or service.
We are a business accelerator. We offer personalized business coaching and advising for women entrepreneurs. TGI provides a month long in-country program, delivering one-on-one coaching, group workshops, co-working space, events, and subject matter expert speakers. Following the in-country program, Thinkers are mentored for 12 weeks by both male and female trusted advisors, educators and proven business professionals. Mentors will be available to Thinkers via email, Skype, telephone and potentially in person, depending on their physical location. Following the 12-week mentorship portion, Thinkers will join a managed global portfolio of businesses for the life of their business, or as long as theyʼre interested in participating and taking advantage of alumni resources. An international review panel will be responsible to oversee progress, track measurable results, report to the Board and supporters, provide vital “human-capital” and other resources to Thinkers as appropriate. Life-long access to an international board of supporters and opportunities.

What inspired you to launch your business?
We believe women are the most influential people in any community. We know women are a good investment. Women are half of the population – half the population which has not been fully involved in growing the business world until recently. Women are heads of households, leaders and change-makers in their communities. However, often women are denied the same opportunities as men.

For the past 2 years, weʼve been working with women entrepreneurs in more than 15 countries as they grow their businesses. Early morning and late night Skype calls, facilitating training sessions, creating financial statements, and simply cheering them on through struggles. Outside of our full time jobs, our passion led us on this journey to continue empowering women, albeit from afar. Weʼve learned about cultural differences in business, the ever- increasing needs and challenges and how we can help build sustainable success.

Imagine what impact could be made, if thousands of women had the same one-on-one attention weʼve been able to provide a small number of women, on our own time, without making one dollar. Weʼve maxed out our personal resources, and are raising funds to make TGIʼs Business Accelerator program a reality. Imagine the change that would take place in communities if women were equally lended to, accepted into schools, given access to business space and opportunity!

What problem does your business or organization solve?
Women entrepreneurs are under utilized. Growth and an improved product will lead to more jobs for the poor, and the wealthy will keep more of their dollars within their own economy. We aim to create a positive impact economically and socially. We will connect the women with a global network, allowing them to utilize many sources of inspiration and solutions.

What has been your biggest challenge and how are you working to overcome it?
Determining our model. Do we bring the women here? Do we stay for 2 months? 1 month? Do we go to them? We re worked our business plan 8 times. We bounced our ideas off the smarted thought leaders we know. We talked to women entrepreneurs about what they need. Our final model is tried, tested and solid!! Another obstacle is in crowdfunding for seed money. Trying to determine the best strategy is difficult!

Give us one word that people might use to describe you.
Resilient

How has Project Eve helped you and/or your business?
We just joined – but we're excited to get involved in the Project Eve community!

Give us an insider tip that relates to your industry.
Women entrepreneurs will come to discover their own strength, courage and tenacity, as it is ignited when they are empowered, safe and supported. We are all more similar than we realize, regardless of ethnicity, native language, wealth status or education level.

Company: Think Global Institute

Website: http://thinkglobalinstitute.org

Follow my organization on social media here:
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https://www.facebook.com/ThinkGlobalInstitute

Project Eve is compiling the largest archive of female founders’ startup stories in the world to motivate women to think beyond traditional boundaries, support one another, embrace change and view challenges as opportunities.  Please share your Startup Story today. All published content will be syndicated to over 300,000 friends, fans and followers. Project Eve welcomes submissions of original or republished content, stories. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.