imagine a place where women
learn • connect • collaborate • thrive
The Wo...
What is The Press Institute?
The Press Institute is run by Executive Director Cristi Hegranes,...
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Press Institute Women's Center Intro

An brief introduction to The Women's Center of Knowledge and Empowerment, a social enterprise of The Press Institute
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: News & Politics      

Transcripts - Press Institute Women's Center Intro

  • 1. imagine a place where women learn • connect • collaborate • thrive The Womenʼs Center for Knowledge and Empowerment a social entrepreneurship project of The Press Institute OUR IMPACT Nairobi, Kenya by the end of year two Women are empowered A Need 30 women receive direct economic empowerment through employment and Joanne Wanjala was born in Namilama, a internships. remote, male-dominated village in the Bungoma district in western Kenya. When she Women are informed 12,000 hours of was 12-years old, Joanne found herself Internet are used by women through cyber seeking refuge with an aunt after her father cafe. tried to force an arranged marriage. Despite the odds stacked against her, Joanne Women are educated completed secondary school and graduated 5,000 women gain knowledge, skills and from the University of Nairobi with a degree in tools to advance their careers. Communications. Thanks to a University Women are supported scholarship, Joanne is now working on a 100 women are paired with a mentor to masters degree in literature. She is married with a young son. reach their goals. Despite all her achievements, Joanne continues to face challenges. The Women thrive cost of Internet access in Nairobi is prohibitively high but she needs the Thousands of women improve their lives Internet to do research for school work.  Even after graduation, Joanne and pass on their knowledge, skills, tools will be challenged to find gainful employment in a country that has a 40 and wisdom to thousands more. percent unemployment rate.  Although she has overcome so many of the barriers that women face in Kenya, Joanne wonders how she will be able OUR ADVISORS to contribute to the care of her family if she cannot find a job. Melissa Beran Samuelson, Clinical Professor, Thunderbird School of Global Joanne’s story is just one of millions of stories about women who need Management education, access to information and opportunities for personal and Natasha Deganello Giraudie, CEO, Micro- economic empowerment. Documentaries Our Solution Gemma Dreher, Senior Counsel, BAE Systems The Press Institute is launching our next news desk together with our first-ever income-generating social enterprise, The Women’s Center for Harrison Goodall, Chief Operating Officer, Knowledge and Empowerment. The Center will house a news desk, One Global Economy cyber cafe, business center, community education space and childcare Jeanne Marie Grumet, President, center. It will be a dynamic space that will: Communications Catalyst Amy Lombardo, Founder, ✓ Produce powerful stories about the reality of life in Africa - not as True Nature Wellness a dying continent, but a complex place teaming with life. ✓ Increase access to information, education and vocational training Gabrielle Rapport, DIrector of Corporate for women in journalism, technology and business. Responsibility, Ontier ✓ Provide safe space for women to network, collaborate, mentor, OUR PARTNERS coach and support each other. Africa Yoga Project ✓ Generate funding for journalism program in Kenya. AMWIK Haki Self-Help Group Global Girl Media One Global Economy The Press Institute is advancing social equity and Voluntary Youth Philanthropists economic justice for women in Kenya. Join Us!
  • 2. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What is The Press Institute? The Press Institute is run by Executive Director Cristi Hegranes, an award-winning journalist and nonprofit leader, and an eight member board of directors. Our in-country news desks are staffed by local women and men who have completed The Press Institute's Certified Reporter Training program, ensuring they are responsible, solutions-based storytellers with strong source access and unique story angels. Why are you starting a social enterprise? US-based individuals and foundations generously fund PI. A key initiative in 2010 is to develop in-country social ventures to generate earned income for local programs and operations, thereby helping to alleviate 100 percent reliance on US-based financial support . How does this initiative fit into your mission? The Center will be PI’s first income-generating enterprise designed explicitly to fund news desk operations and journalism training programs It will will offer a full range of services to women, helping them to reach their personal and professional goals, be engaged and accountable citizens, and improve their economic livelihood. Why Kenya? Kenya, with its relatively stable government and cosmopolitan capital, offers The Press Institute a strategic location for gathering and disseminating original news content from east Africa. However, Kenya remains fraught with gender inequality and vast socio-economic disparity, preventing women from realizing their full potential. Why women? Simply put, women still face gender inequities in Kenya that prevent them from realizing their full potential. • 8% Women in parliamentarian and leadership positions • 18% Women represented in political decision-making • <1% Women reporting on politics and government • 8% Women as subjects in political news • 16% Women enrolled in computer science programs • 57% Women-owned business income compared to men-owned Undaunted by these stats, women are mobilizing in unprecedented numbers. The time for a social entrepreneurial venture aimed at advancing social equity and economic justice for women is now. Why a center for knowledge and empowerment? First, the Press Institute was founded on the belief that when people have access to information, they are able to live fuller, freer lives. Second, we have witnessed first-hand, either through our own experiences and through observation, the transformation that comes when women are given tools for empowerment. Third, there are few full-service cyber cafe that cater to women. We see this an opportunity to fill a need in an under-served and niche market. How will you earn income? The Center will generate revenue from its core business units: the cyber cafe, the business center, and the community space. Income from the business will be directed to PI’s journalism programs in Kenya. Who is leading this project? This project is being led by Jennifer Ruwart, our Global Business Development Director. With over 15 years of domestic and international experience in project, program, and operational management, Jennifer understands what it takes to nurture and grow big ideas. Learn more about Jennifer Stay up-to-date on the latest news about this project by following Jennifer's blog, An Entrepreneur on a Mission. You can also reach Jennifer directly at or (415) 300-7648.

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