In the face of the pandemic and global economic crisis, women and girls have been most affected. Reporting from the United Nations estimates that because of these twin issues, 96 million people will live in extreme poverty by 2021. Of that number, 47 million will be females. Furthermore, for women and girls, 435 million of the global population in extreme poverty will be women and girls. And, those numbers will not go back to pre-pandemic levels until 2030. That is why female entrepreneurs and supporting their success is vital.
Although our social enterprise, Funds2Orgs, has always been committed to helping nonprofits raise money, we also believe we serve as a bridge for micro-entrepreneurs in developing nations. In light of the realities, we decided to create a unique initiative for female-led groups and organizations that support women’s causes here in the U.S., supporting our female micro-entrepreneur partners in developing countries. We call it Funds4Women, and it’s all about women making waves in their communities both here and abroad.
Funds4Women will help organizations that benefit women and girls to raise funds for their favorite causes in the U.S. By doing so, they collect gently worn, used and new shoes. Once their fundraiser ends, we collect the shoes and issue a check. In turn, those shoes get shipped to 26 countries worldwide. Although we operate with more than 4,000 micro-entrepreneurs, our social enterprise decided to start a special outreach to women micro-entrepreneurs, in particular. The reality is that even before 2020, women and girls face challenging gender-based social structures. It takes special efforts and outreach to even the playing field.
What Is Child Poverty Like in Developing Nations for Girls?
Living in poverty, anywhere in the world, is difficult. However, in developing countries, the harshest existence is often worse. In wealthy countries, such as the United States, Japan, Europe, and Australia, poverty exists, but because of strong government, education, and social structures, programs exist to support those in need. In the United States, we have strong nonprofits and community outreach. We also have educational, work opportunities, and entrepreneurship—including for female entrepreneurs. All of this provides opportunities for people, including women and girls.
In developing countries, poverty means social infrastructure is not robust. For example, children learn in classrooms that do not have resources. But, for girls, even getting some education is challenging. 132 million girls don’t set foot in a school. Reasons for it include gender-based violence and child marriages. Another reason is that poverty could be so extreme that they don’t own shoes, which is essential for attending schools.
Ultimately, when girls don’t go to school, once they become women, it perpetuates poverty. But, the more girls get educated, the better it is for the women, girls, and countries where they live. Educated girls have more jobs, and when they grow up, they could become female entrepreneurs. Child marriage, maternal and child mortality rates fall. Moreover, when women create work and business opportunities, they help grow their countries’ GDP.
Women Entrepreneurs are Essential for A Better World
When girls get educated and grow-up, many in developing nations become female entrepreneurs. The reality is that even though girls get educated, that’s only one small part of what’s needed. So long as developing countries have poor infrastructure related to education, society, and work, people still need work opportunities. Because of it, many women become women entrepreneurs and create their work opportunities. With jobs that pay fair, sustainable wages tough to come by, the best options are self-created.
The fact of the matter is that most poor people in the world are women. And that’s why it’s essential to support their efforts to give them a hand up out of poverty. By aiding women to become female entrepreneurs, we provide them with opportunities to help themselves and their families. That’s why groups such as Kiva give loans to women entrepreneurs. It’s an opportunity for women to help themselves. And that’s why social enterprises, such as Funds2Orgs, are essential for women and girls living in poverty in developing nations.
Funds4Women Program for Female Entrepreneurs
Work opportunities are essential for everyone. And one of the reasons Funds2Orgs exists is to build a bridge. Our team saw that nonprofits, schools, and other groups in the U.S. needed to raise money for their causes. But, women in developing countries need even a greater boost and hand-up. That’s why we created the Funds4Women program to benefit women all over the world. We seek to ensure female entrepreneurs in developing countries make up more than half of our partners.
We ask women in the U.S., in particular, to collect shoes for their cause. The more inventory that goes to developing nations—and female entrepreneurs—the greater the opportunities to escape poverty. In short, women helping women. When you collect gently worn, used and new shoes, we issue you a check for the shoes. Those shoes then go to micro-entrepreneurs. At least half of our partners are female entrepreneurs in developing nations. In turn, the small business owners sell the shoes so they could help themselves out of poverty.
What You Could Do Today to Support Women Micro-Entrepreneurs
Today, Funds2Orgs stands as the largest shoe drive fundraising social enterprise in our country. Since we opened our doors, more than 10,000 partners have worked with us. They collected shoes, we issued them checks, and then we shipped the shoes to developing countries. More than 4,000 micro-entrepreneurs sell the shoes in their communities around the world to help themselves out of poverty.
Right now, nonprofits, charities, schools, faith-based groups, and civic organizations have all hands on deck. The demands on them from their communities has grown because of the pandemic and economic hit. So, if you wonder what you could do today to make a difference and alleviate suffering, there’s something you could do. You could consider raising funds for your favorite good cause here in the U.S.
Sign-up for a shoe drive fundraiser, and if you work for an organization that supports women, ask about our Funds4Women program. And then, become part of the solution for giving families, including female entrepreneurs, with a hand up. They don’t want charity. They only want a chance to help themselves.
© 2020 Funds2Orgs. All Rights Reserved.