Talk about us : "Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn" by Montse Domínguez i Munllonch.
"Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn" this is definitely our motto these days, or better said quite from the beginning, since we embarked on this new journey called the Coachability Foundation (CF).
We are a non-profit foundation born in The Hague (Netherlands) in 2015, which wants to empower women entrepreneurs everywhere. We do this through accompaniment and cooperation.
European management and mentoring professionals collaborate with entrepreneurs from developing countries on their work projects. We work together from personal leadership and creativity, key elements for us as transformative tools that create and /or become aware of the life we lead and the one we want to lead.
We have several projects underway right now but I would like to highlight a couple of them we have in Africa. The first one is to create a workspace for a group of 48 entrepreneurs from Johannesburg (South Africa). They all have some personal and professional aspects in common. For example, the fact that they want to start a business as a way to seek economic and personal interdependence. Many are single mothers and most have been abused and maltreated by a male figure.
European professionals support them on their way to entrepreneurship. Through remote or face-to-face workshops, they learn about business management, such as business implantation strategies, retail and e-commerce trends, or how technology can help us in our learning process.
However, we work together on other aspects such as personal leadership; how women represent ourselves, how we collaborate with each other and how creativity helps us find solutions. In short, we accompany them in those areas that can help them in launching their project. Of course, we all enjoy cultural diversity, we learn and, above all, we listen.
The second project I would like to discuss is the launch of a sewing workshop in Denu, about 300 km from the capital of Accra, Ghana. This workshop, which is still underway, will employ about 40 unemployed women, mostly single mothers but also some widows.
The future seamstresses left school due to economic problems, some lost their couple, several were single mothers, but all of them are in the process of reintegration. The workshop aims to help them learn about a business that is in high demand in the local market, with the help of Ghanaian professionals. They will work collectively to find clients, individual and local businesses, as well as to build a community and bonding.
We are working closely with STAESA (a local NGO) with over 20 years of experience in Africa in the creation of jobs and the alleviation of poverty in depressed areas. The projects arise from the needs expressed by the NGO itself.
Together with Staesa, we will help them with the making of the workshop from the very beginning. This means, economical financing, the choice of space, the purchase of materials, the search for clients, as well as the evolution and consolidation of the project.
Based on these, we share how to transform them into projects in terms of feasibility and sustainability on both sides. Our intention is that the projects in destination, which increase the local economy, help reduce unemployment in certain groups, and at the same time reinvest themselves with other projects in the same area, thus strengthening the circular economy. But above all, we want the self-esteem of these often forgotten women groups to increase.
The contributions of European professionals are rich and diverse. The truth is though that at first, they have been more supportive and voluntary. However, our aim is for them to gain experience and expand their portfolio of projects and clients from developing countries. Only in this way will we find the professional and personal balance we desire and work so hard for.
The work done so far is a combination of empathy, recognition for each other, and a lot of creativity that, as we have already seen, is a commonality among everyone and goes beyond languages, countries and cultures.
In 2010 I lived in New York for a while, and for me, it was a time of great self-inspiration and self-awareness, the reflection of how all women entrepreneurs around the world can collaborate together. How we can share experiences and knowledge, how we can support one another in a professional and personal way. Ten years later, and living in the Netherlands, we have turned this reflection into a reality thanks to a multicultural group of women who share the same vision.
The transformation and personal improvement leads us to collective transformation and, as a result, to social improvement, without losing sight of the fact that ...
"Sometimes we win and sometimes we learn"
Montse Domínguez i Munllonch
Founder of Coachability Foundation.
Post published in exterior.cat Pic by Leo Night
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