Monthly Archives: November 2015

September 2015 Workshops in Nairobi

Our second series of Nairobi workshops for 2015 continued the success we’ve had supporting our partners’ programs to empower women entrepreneurs, college students, and young business owners. Olivia conducted two workshops for The Youth Banner; one for women entrepreneurs new to business planning and the second for prior participants seeking a refresher, help and/or coaching. We’re delighted that the number of returning entrepreneurs is growing and they expressed a desire to meet monthly to share ideas and success between the WSWI visits. We had strong support from the TYB during the workshops. WSWI provided train-the-trainer workshops during our two previous visits and staff is now quite adept at facilitating group breakouts and answering questions about business planning and development.

OCT15 TYB Workshop1

Adding the 30+ participants of the business training session, we’ve served over 200 unique women micro-business owners. The last evaluation report, for the April 2015 series of workshops, facilitated by Kirsti Tcherkoyan, found that:

  • Only 5% were keeping accounting records when they began the program
  • 80% of the graduates now keep records of their earnings
  • Nearly 95% of our graduates have seen an improvement in their business since implementing their plans 

When we get the evaluation report for the September business planning workshops, we’ll post an update. Our gratitude goes out to Kelvin Maina and the rest of the Youth Banner team for their contributions to another successful series.

We facilitated three eMentoring Africa workshops, all in collaboration with UNISCOO (University Students Community Organization), a student leadership organization representing universities throughout East Africa and the US. There was a different group of young leaders in each session. The first were recent winners of the 25 Under 25 Entrepreneurship Award. The second was a group of students preparing for and participating in an internship program. The third workshop was for a large group of student organization leaders from several universities. In all three workshops, the topic was turning vision into action. It was a lot of fun while also very inspirational because I’m convinced they are all future leaders. Thanks to Jed Ondiko, Managing Director of UNISCOO, for his leadership. He models the way!

OCT15 25under25 breakout

The October 2015 eMA leadership development workshops bring our total for student leaders impacted to 63. A gratifying achievement, but not as heartwarming as what we take away from just being in the presence of such motivated, energetic and committed twenty-somethings! Another reason we are so inspired to return.

Development Update November 2015


As most of our supporters already know, we are anxious to bring our work to communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, where WSWI in headquartered. There are thousands of women and transitional aged youth dreaming of change in their lives right here in our own backyard. WSWI and the Bayview Hunters Point YMCA have agreed to collaborate on the delivery of two courses to offer both groups.

The Micro-Business Owner course is a series of workshops and labs to explore the fundamentals of business ownership and essentials of personal leadership. Similar to the business planning workshops we do in Nairobi, the outcome is an actionable business plan. This course also includes mentorship as part of participant support.

The Community Leadership Institute is a 12-week program for community change agents. Starting with self-assessments of personality, communication, and leadership styles, participants link their visions with their values and begin to define the problem they wish to solve. Again, the outcome is a plan. Participants engage with guest speakers who are successful community leaders, learn how promote their agenda, and organize community dialog.

Thanks to the a generous grant from the Betsy Gordon Foundation and donations from our supporter that attended our launch last August, we were able to hire a grant writer who has submitted over twenty proposals to fund one or both of these programs; both require $10,000 each to deliver. We’ve also hired a virtual assistant to help the board with administration, an ongoing need. So we hope that you’ll continue to think of us as you offer your end-of-year, holiday gifts to charities. Click here to donate to WSWI.