3 women who inspire us to #BeBoldForChange
Today is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the resilience and beauty of women around the world. Yet every day we are inspired by the tenacious women in our global network. Women like Annie, who is creating jobs and a place to belong for over 700 women in post-war Liberia.
With 64% of our network made up of women who are monumentally impacting their communities, we are convinced that poverty doesn’t stand a chance.
So today we honor a few women who are not afraid to #BeBoldForChange as they fight poverty in their own lives and in communities around the world.
Nathalie, Cote d’Ivoire
Nathalie discovered two things when she became a mother. First, that she needed a more reliable job to support her young family, and second, that there was limited access to many necessary childcare items in her community.
As Nathalie talked with other moms, she realized they too were frustrated with the lack of options for baby clothes, accessories, diapers, and so on.
That’s when Nathalie decided to take a chance and open a shop of her own.
She started small, but soon got help in the form of business training and a loan from Partners Worldwide and our local partner INSHEV.
“The business training and loan have been invaluable. The loan I received allowed me to buy a stock of diapers for babies of various ages. As a result, I have turned a much larger profit for the last four months. With your help, we are going to continue to grow.”
Nathalie is just one of the 350 women INSHEV serves in Cote d’Ivoire. Yet she represents the many female entrepreneurs who are living boldly to support their families and meet the needs of their community as a whole.
Leni, the Philippines
Leni’s husband works overseas, but despite the long hours, he barely makes enough to support their family. To supplement their income and help support their six daughters, Leni took matters into her own hands and opened a small business.
As Leni was struggling to launch and manage her business, she reached out for support from our partner CCT Credit Cooperative. She soon attended a Partners Worldwide Business Training, which changed the outlook of her business entirely.
Leni quickly grew from running a small retail business to managing a network of four distributors and 40 retailers, most of whom are also mothers and housewives. She began earning enough to provide for her family, employ others, and contribute to her church and its ministries.
Everyday Leni puts her daughters and community members first, serving as a leader and role model for both. She even started a CCT Savings and Fellowship group to help empower other women locally.
Despite her husband’s absence, Leni’s thriving family, business success, and community involvement has set an inspiring example of what women are capable.
Martha, United States
Photo courtesy of Rapid Growth Media
When Martha left Liberia for the United States in 1997, she wasn’t sure what the future had in store. She settled in Grand Rapids, MI and began to build a new life, but was struggling living paycheck to paycheck and often found herself missing home.
Martha asked God what she could do to improve her family’s life—and engage her Liberian roots— and she felt led to open an international food market.
Martha’s International Market began carrying a small supply of Liberian foods. Yet once she saw how excited other immigrants were about her store, she expanded to include a diverse range of products from several countries around the world.
To continue growing, Martha attended our 12-week business training and began a mentoring relationship with a Partners Worldwide volunteer.
Through faith and hard work, and with a bit of help from Partners Worldwide, Martha has steadily grown her business. She has not only achieved her goal of starting a business that supports her family, but she has also succeeded in delivering a piece of home to immigrants and refugees as they come to her to buy their favorite foods.
Invest in Women
Nathalie, Leni, and Martha are three women who embody the diligence, creativity, and empathy that fosters true change. Around the world, we are walking alongside more than 75,000 other women like them. Through business training, mentoring, access to capital, and advocacy tools, we are equipping women to pursue their dreams.