A chance meeting ten years ago led three American women to establish an organisation that is turning the plight of impoverished Ugandan women around and will soon do the same for a million more impoverished women around the world.
After Torkin Wakefield, Ginny Jordan, and Devin Hibbard met Millie Grace Akena stringing paper bead necklaces to sell in order to earn money to take care of her family, imagination was sparked and BeadforLife was born.
The goal of the organisation was simple, help women achieve financial freedom and independence by creating an international market for the beads produced.
But that one simple idea grew wings and flew to become Street Business School, an entrepreneurial training programme that is teaching women how to setup and run businesses in their communities and thus enable them take care of their families.
Train a woman and you train a nation is not just a saying. From one woman empowered, to an entire empowered community and nation, Street Business School has helped nearly 2,500 women set up businesses and in turn keft 98% of their children in school.
Their vision to eradicate poverty is fuelled by passion and funds gotten from the sale of the paper bead jewellery as well as donations from charitable individuals and institutions, and it is not stopping there.
Their goal now is to reach one million women globally by 2027. To achieve this, they are partnering with organisations worldwide to train members on how to implement the Street Business School programme in their local communities in order to achieve global success as has been recorded in Uganda over the past ten years.
The success stories are numerous. Of the 40,000 people reached by the programme in its ten years, 81% of women are still running successful businesses after two years of graduating from the programme.
The BeadforLife slogan says, “ignite potential, end poverty”, but the Street Business School does more than ignite potential, it is transforming lives and now, it is inspiring others around the world to do the same.