Our Final Newsletter for the time being! Have a read what we have been up to in the final months of project funding and how we are going to take EMPOWER further in the future.
The EMPOWER Policymakers Guide is here! ‘Female Empowerment for Employability – A Guide for Policymakers’ presents an overview of our efforts, experiences and recommendations based on the development of the EMPOWER Training Programme that, in the past 2 years, has directly supported 98 support workers (including volunteers) and 89 women across the partner countries.
We are extremely happy to be able to write this today and to have played a small part in the so needed support of both vulnerable women and support workers in the specific areas of employability and entrepreneurship.
The second chapter of our Role Model campaign is now available!
The Icelandic Bjarney Rún Haraldsdóttir speaks about what the EMPOWER programme has meant for her.
Disclaimer: you might need a bit of Google Translate as the interview is written in the beautiful Icelandic language.
Last January the Directorate of Labour in Iceland received a grant from the Development fund for Immigrants to put up a business training for women of foreign origin. Our partners in the application were the Innovation Centre of Iceland, who have provided training for women entrepreneurs for many years, called Brautargengi, and the association Women of Multicultural Ethnicity Network in Iceland.
Our aim was to provide practical training for women of foreign ethnicity, where they could work on their business idea and put up a complete business plan as the result. Preparation started last summer and then we advertised the training in August.
We received 27 applications and those 22 participants were accepted.
To be a foreign woman in Iceland involves a lot of challenges. To name a few, there is the Icelandic language, that is probably not the easiest one in the world, different culture, you might not have your family and friends here and maybe you cannot use your education as you would like. Also, unfortunately, the attitude towards people of foreign origin is not always a positive one.
One of the solutions might be to put up your own company where you can use your knowledge and skills.
The training consisted of modules such as business strategy, marketing, social media, finance, taxes, product development, entrepreneurship, branding and how to present yourself and your company. The training started in September and the duration was 14 weeks.
In the beginning of December all participants introduced their business ideas. A formal graduation was held at NMÍ on the 14th of December.
The business ideas were diverse, tourism, jewellery, import, dating agency, rent of baby things, such as chairs and cots.
Alexandra Martini received recognition for the best business plan for Martinis Fire, a company that designs jewellry:
The business plan is carefully worked out and the passion of the owner shines through. Marketing- and financial matters are well thought out, detailed and the project is likely to succeed.
Nikki Kwan Ledesma received recognition for the best presentation for Wheels and Tours, a tourist company:
The presentation was good and convincing, delivered professionally and with passion.
Have you been involved in the EMPOWER project, or would you like to be?
We are only a message away!
We always love to hear about someone’s inspiration and drive, as this, in turn, is what inspires and drives us. Write us a letter, record a video, sing a song, etc. the possibilities are endless!
Need some encouragement? Check out our YouTube-channel to hear our participants talk about what the EMPOWER project has meant to them.
The EMPOWER project now has its very own YouTube-channel!
We have already uploaded a handful of training videos in the different partner languages, and more are to follow. Go have a look, and please subscribe!
We all need a bit of encouragement sometimes, which is why in the coming months we will be posting several inspiring testimonials.
First up is Anna from Greece who, at the age of 44, had to start looking for employment for the first time after having devoted her time to her children’s upbringing.
Disclaimer: you might need a bit of Google Translate as the interview is written in the beautiful Greek language.
Empower partners are busy over the Summer developing the new training programmes for Empower: Empower Yourself Programme for Women and Empower Others Programme for Support Workers.
The training programmes will have two parts to them 1) workshops where participants get to try out tools and exercises to develop their soft skills linked to employability and entrepreneurship and 2) Mentoring Circles for further reflection and support from others in similar situations.
Once the training materials are developed we will be trying them out with participants in the UK, Greece, Iceland and Lithuania. The workshops are due to start in February 2017 on a first come first served basis. If you’re interested in taking part, please get in touch.
The 2nd international partner meeting for Empower was held on 13th and 14th June 2016 in Kaunas, Lithuania and was a great success! The sun shone in beautiful Kaunas and we had a productive 2 day meeting presenting the research findings from each country on the training needs for Support Workers and vulnerable women. On the 2nd day of the meeting all partners shared ideas for training tools and exercises that could be developed or adapted to suit the needs of our trainees. We now all return home to work hard on the next phase of developing training materials!