HerStart: Innovate the Future Project
HerStart: Innovate the Future is a 7-year initiative designed by Youth Challenge International (YCI), in partnership with leading local organizations, with the goal to foster and create innovative solutions for a more equitable and prosperous economy within Ghana, Zanzibar and Uganda. In Ghana, project is co-implemented with Norsaac and YEFL- Ghana located in Tamale. HerStart aims Support over 3,000 young women to become social entrepreneurs over the 7years period and build an enabling environment for social innovation and women’s social enterprise development, while increasing awareness of and support for social ventures.
This initiative will engage local partners and Canadian volunteers to provide social entrepreneurship training and support to aspiring young female entrepreneurs.
Through the project’s investment, HerStart will deliver training and business development services to over 3000 young women and invest over $350,000 directly in 70 young women-led social ventures. Considering this, the HerStart: Innovate the Future project was designed in direct response to the needs identified by young women in the three countries of project operation aimed to increase marginalized young women’s access to economic opportunities and resources by harnessing the potential of these young women to shape their own futures and leverage existing resources and programs to enhance inclusive economic growth and social impact for women in Ghana, Zanzibar, and Uganda.
The project is delivered on Training (in foundational entrepreneurship skills, financial management, personal leadership and social enterprise through Sparking Social Innovation and Seed your Social Venture modules), Incubation (of New and existing social enterprises to support their growth and resilience through the Grow your Social Venture module), Investment (through the HerStart Catalyst Fund – a $1M (CAD) fund for social ventures) and Ecosystem Building (investments in local partners and broader ecosystem capacity building).
HerStart seeks to reinforce the objectives of Ghana’s National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP) which provides young people with access to training, equipment, and financial support to start businesses, as well as the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) program which provides bi-monthly cash grants to poor households, the majority of which are women. These national initiatives are well aligned with both local partner’s core mandates of empowering youth, particularly young women, in livelihood building and enterprise development.
Project Duration: 7 years (2020-2025)