Just over two years ago (perhaps, closer to three) , an empowerment and entrepreneurship programme for girls—one that touched all of the places that informed our journey as women entrepreneurs and paid forward the guidance, mentorship, life lessons, love and support we received along the way—was just an idea in our company “parking lot.”* As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years since we first conceived it, we would work on different aspects of the programme when our schedules allowed, revisit them, tweak them, discuss the project again and refine our vision. This process of incubation took almost three years and then we decided that we were ready to test the programme and the world (particularly the places we wished to launch it) were ready to receive it. So, our vision for and expectations of what we recently launched as the Mo’ Girls Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Pilot Programme are both well thought out and meaningful to us and our team. Now that we’ve tested and proven the concept of Mo’ Girls in two hubs in Trinidad, the way forward and intended impact of Mo’ Girls is becoming clearer and clearer.
Next Steps for Mo’ Girls…
- More than Just a Vacation Camp! In the immediate future (likely starting in November), we are developing a follow-on, yearlong programme of workshops for the girls who participated in the two pilot implementations of the programme to continue our work with them.
- Mo’ Girls-Sando, Mo’ Girls-Tobago & Mo’ Girls-DC! Our team is in the process of using the lessons learnt from Mo’ Girls-Arima and Mo’ Girls-Port of Spain to tweak and adapt the curriculum and administrative processes to three additional pilot implementations to be held over Easter Break in T&T and over Spring Break in the U.S. We are forming a team in the capital city of the U.S., Washington, DC (a place instrumental in our development as career women). Locally, we’re working with our first cohort of auditors and facilitators to plan a Sando-based camp and establish a team in the sister isle of Tobago.
- Even More Mo’ Girls, July/August 2018! Granted we have a successful soft launch in April 2018, we will launch Mo’ Girls in its full form in ten cities throughout North America and the Caribbean over the course of twelve weeks. The programme will ideally impact the lives of approximately 210 young women over the course of June-August School Holidays 2018. The intended cities/boroughs are Arima, Chaguanas, Point Fortin, Port of Spain, San Fernando and Toco in Trinidad; Charlotteville and Scarborough in Tobago; as well as Brooklyn, NY and Washington, D.C. in the U.S.
- Mo’ Girls-Jamaica and Beyond! Following full programme launches in the aforementioned places, we intend to roll the programme out regionally, starting with a pilot in Jamaica during the Easter school holidays of 2019. Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Grenada are also in our sights (the vision is to roll out in a new island in the English-speaking Caribbean every year after the Jamaica launch until we have functioning camps and yearlong programmes in each of these places).
So, Mo’ Girls is just beginning and there is so much to look forward to in the coming months and years. We hope you’ll stay with us and/or join us in our quest to help more girls become moguls!
Melissa & Michele (The MAMs)
*A parking lot, in this context, is a place/document/file where we house ideas that we hope to develop in the future.