International Women’s Day is once again upon us and I would like to acknowledge and give a shout out to all the female entrepreneurs who step forward and take a risk. Our founder, Mary S. Edgar, was a shining example of taking a risk to see her dream come to fruition.
I have had the honour to belong to an organization called SheEO for the last two years.
What is SheEO?
SheEO is a radically redesigned ecosystem that supports, finances, and celebrates female innovators.
Launched in 2015 in Canada, by life-long risk taker and entrepreneur, Vicki Saunders, “this visionary model is emerging as a leading global innovation that is totally unique. Rather than trying to fit women into the existing models and systems and level the playing field, SheEO is creating an entirely new field.
SheEO pushes the reset button on how to support women on their own terms. They focus on bringing out the best of women by being radically generous to one another. It’s an entirely new values set designed with a feminist lens.
The model brings together 500 women (called Activators – I’m an Activator!!) in each year’s cohort, who contribute $1100 each as an Act of Radical Generosity. The money is pooled together and loaned out at zero percent interest to five women-led Ventures selected by the Activators.
All Ventures are revenue generating with export potential and are creating a better world through their business model or their product and service. The loans are paid back over five years and then loaned out again, creating a perpetual fund which we will pass on to our daughters, nieces and granddaughters. The 500 women Activators in each cohort become the de-facto ‘team’ of the five selected Ventures bringing their buying power as early customers, their expertise and advice and their vast networks to help grow the businesses”.
All the businesses that are in the SheEO network tackle one or more of the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals. They are as follows:
1. No Poverty
2. Zero Hunger
3. Good Health and Well Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible Consumption and Production
13. Climate Action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life on Land
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the Goals
I raise my glass and stand to toast these (and all!) incredible women who despite the risk involved, propel forward a new path in business. Through successful businesses and a commitment to make the world a better place for all, we celebrate them on International Women’s Day and every day!
For more inspiration and information on SheEO, visit them at www.sheeo.world