FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The Women and The Programs
_How do you find and choose the women you work with, the women you seek to serve?
_Starting from a place of familiarity and trust is the key to our success. Moyo Jasiri works with our strategic partners in the U.S. and abroad to identify women already in their networks who are strong candidates for our programs. This not only expedites our screening process, it supports and enhances the goals of our partners. We are growing a truly global network that will be an ongoing resource for these women.
_Who’s the target market of women you are seeking to serve?
_We believe that strength and initiative combined with education and resources is the recipe for entrepreneurial success. Moyo Jasiri’s focus is to provide the education and resource components to start-up and fledgling women entrepreneurs living at or just above the poverty line. This also includes young women at risk who face high unemployment, discrimination, and limited opportunities.
_How can women in developed countries create thriving businesses alongside women in developing ones?
_Leveraging readily available free and low-cost technology like Skype, Facebook, and Join Me, Moyo Jasiri is able to simultaneously work effectively and efficiently in multiple locations, across the U.S. and around the globe. For example, we are piloting an incubator-style program called AWE or Advancing Women Entrepreneurs. This multi-module program uses a technology bridge to create global e-classrooms that connect participants and other women entrepreneurs like themselves in the U.S and around the world.
_What is AWE?
_This is where business incubator meets hands-on boot camp. Using Moyo Jasiri’s carefully developed module system, we mentor women through our intensive yet nurturing multi-year business development program. Designed to educate and mentor participants through the crucial start-up years and beyond, AWE embraces a holistic approach to entrepreneurship as each module focuses on a specific stage of creating a business. In a very practical way AWE empowers women to share their dreams, create and execute plans for prosperity, and live to their highest potential. Visit our program page to learn more about the modules.
_That sounds intense. Don’t these women face a lot of challenges?
_The women we work with are faced with many challenges. In the short-term each hour that they give to training and mentoring is time away from earning much needed income to provide food and shelter for their families. Our challenge is to provide a solid foundation while minimizing the financial and social burdens of our participants. AWE mentors and supports participants over the course of 3-5 years to ensure she has the long-term training, capital and support she needs to thrive.
_Do you pay her to participate?
_It is important and meaningful to note that we do not provide a stipend for participants during their training period. Our own experience and the experience of other organizations has shown that often times when immediate cash-in-hand is the motivator, participants are present in body only – there is a lack of long term motivation to absorb and apply the education offered. For a woman to complete our program, she has to make a deep commitment to herself and her family’s future. Each hour spent in the classroom is time away from selling her wares or services in her traditional manner. Each unearned dollar is a long-term personal investment in herself and her family.
What kind of follow-up support do these women receive once they’ve completed the Boot Camp?
_Through AWE Launch, graduates of the boot camp receive continued support as they seek funding for their business. We start with assessing local resources and widen our search from there. With AWE Connect we coordinate monthly check-ins to provide a sounding board for new ideas, encouragement and assistance with problem solving. Graduates are also offered periodic professional development workshops and ongoing mentoring.
_How will you measure if this program is successful?
What sets Moyo Jasiri apart from other programs is our long-term commitment to the women who invest their time with us. We will know we are successful when a woman’s business is making a profit, her standard of living has increased and she can measure the impact she had on her community.
_Where do you work, in what countries? Why there?
_Moyo Jasiri is a living example of thinking globally and acting locally. Our corporate home is Portland, Oregon and we could not imagine empowering women globally without starting in our own background. We have a satellite office in Nairobi. Put simply Kenya chose us.
In 2008 as part of a contingent for World Pulse, I attended the 2008 AIDS Conference with then colleague Leah Okeyo. Leah was the inspiration for the ground breaking program I created for World Pulse. Our immediate and strong connection led to me meeting other women and connecting to other organizations in Kenya. There was no question in anyone’s mind where the partnership should begin.
We are also working with women in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Philippines and Nepal. Like Kenya, these sites were chosen based upon prior successful relationships with inspiring and forward thinking women. As each of these women's businesses take hold and grow, we will continue to seek out new relationships in other areas.