As a community technology strategist I have a particular interest in being of use to women at risk. It’s a daunting challenge surviving and thriving when you’re in crisis and working to move to a better life. I am committed to being an active ally in helping women lift themselves out of poverty and onto a safe and sustainable path, creating a support system around them through various community partners.
I will be doing this in 3 ways:
1) Building a network of community partners to help provide safe spaces, tools and funding to make it easier for women at risk to use online technologies to build a small business.
2) Providing training to help acquaint entrepreneurs with the basics, including WordPress, ecommerce and social media.
3) Providing a kickstart package that includes free website hosting and 40 hours of development time to get them up and running, with ongoing support once they are, including a private online safe space where they can interact with other women in the program to share ideas and resources.
In order to ensure each woman’s safety, protect her privacy, and respect her dignity, some the training will be done on site at local women’s shelters. While technology can be a wonderful tool for capacity building, at it’s best it’s simply a way to connect people to the resources they need to lift themselves up.
Organizations like the Canadian Women’s Foundation provide funding to help survivors of domestic abuse start their own businesses. I’ll be working to cultivate an additional support network here in Windsor-Essex so that women have the chance to do exactly that, and to be supported by local mentors as they grow.
I’ll be inviting local women to join me as “Pathfinders” this spring, to begin weaving a network of resources and support around the women at risk in our communities.
Let’s do something wonderful together …