HerStart International Fellowships

Contribute your skills and gain international volunteer experience while collaborating with women and global partners to drive social entrepreneurship and gender equality. 

Why a HerStart Fellowship?

Underline detail

Experiences built for a better future

Underline detail

A HerStart Fellowship is a specialized experience for Canadians built around your diverse skills, knowledge and passions including:

Icon of a plant with a positive graph coming out of it

Social Entrepreneurship

Support social entrepreneurs and the implementation of the HerStart Catalyst Fund, which provides financial grants and coaching.

Icon of a speech bubble with connection nodes

Communications & Marketing

Use your creative skills to design and deliver innovative communications materials for HerStart Fellows, partners and women entrepreneurs.  

Icon of a magnifying glass looking at a plant

Research & Learning

Apply your data collection, analysis and reporting skills to the critical topics of women’s empowerment, climate action and social entrepreneurship.

Icon of shaking hands

Program & Partnerships

Flex your project management, partnership development or volunteer engagement skill sets to deepen HerStart’s impact.

Screen Shot 2023-10-03 at 3.04.58 PM (1)

Steps to Become an International Fellow

Underline detail

Hear from our network

Underline detail

"I expanded my knowledge on the principles of ethics in international development, human-centred design and the impact of gender inequality in communities. I've harnessed valuable transferable skills such as cross-cultural communication, empathy in leadership and project management that will be instrumental in my future career development."

— Noor El-Talmas, Communications Fellow, Tanzania

"I gained invaluable cross-cultural volunteer experience, as well as experience in program management, research, data analysis, reporting and presenting. I am confident that the knowledge and skills I gained over the past three months will equip me for any career path I choose to pursue going forward. "

— Landyn Imagawa, Program & Partnerships Fellow, Ghana

"The most impactful and memorable takeaway from my HerStart Fellowship was co-creating a women’s rights and responsibilities workshop. We researched women’s issues in Uganda and discussed ways of balancing familial responsibilities alongside newfound economic empowerment."

— Emma Reeves, Gender Equality Fellow, Uganda

"Collaborating with YCI’s partner organization, Norsaac, as a HerStart Fellow was a life-changing experience. I had the opportunity to support development projects across Northern Ghana and I learned more about the realities of development work and where I fit in. The amount of knowledge and experience I gained in just three months was beyond anything I could have imagined. "

— Sheilagh Newland, Communications Fellow, Ghana

"My fellowship journey with YCI’s HerStart program has been a transformative experience, both personally and professionally. Collaborating with inspiring young women social entrepreneurs, contributing to organizational growth and impact, and engaging in holistic training opportunities have shaped me into a more empowered and empathetic individual. "

— Aarif Vinuu Senthil, Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, Uganda

"I had the chance to develop my podcasting, social media, videography and photography skills. I feel more independent, more adaptable, and more confident in my personal and professional abilities."

— Shelly Steffler, Communications Fellow, Ghana

An orange illustration of a woman
"The HerStart Fellowship experience has been amazing! I joined the program when I was still figuring out my next step and this experience turned out to be exactly what I needed. I got to meet and work with some incredible people from Canada, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda. I enhanced and developed new skills that I will take with me throughout my career and I got to contribute to a program that aligns with my values."

— Sarah Naylor, Program and Training Fellow

An orange illustration of a woman
"I had the opportunity to collaborate with an incredible international team of program designers, social entrepreneurship experts, in-country partners and other volunteer HerStart Fellows from across Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Canada. I learned from experts, honed new skills, and deepened my understanding of social and green entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, inclusive growth and design thinking."

— Shanna Sunley, Research & Insights Fellow

An purple illustration of a man
"The HerStart Fellowship has been beneficial for my professional development and personal growth. The YCI team is highly passionate about supporting young people to find their passion in social impact and development work. This opportunity also exposed me to a network of other organizations and development practitioners who I had the chance to learn from. This was certainly an important step in my career."

— Joseph Flores, Climate Action Fellow

An orange illustration of a woman
"The HerStart program allowed me to learn about topics like climate action, green entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and gender equality while giving me the space to create innovative solutions to enhance the lives of women and their communities. This program also does a wonderful job in demonstrating Canada’s leadership and commitment towards international development."

— Ramsha Ahmed, Program and Training Fellow

An orange illustration of a woman
"The HerStart Fellowship allowed me to experience a completely new context and speak with incredible individuals in Ghana to learn about their realities within the realm of women’s social entrepreneurship through a human-centred lens. Acquiring the skills to work remotely, across cultures and time zones has been a standout piece, and I’m eager to put it to use in the future!"

— Katarina Alurovic, Research and Insights Fellow

An orange illustration of a woman
An orange illustration of a woman
An purple illustration of a man
An orange illustration of a woman
An orange illustration of a woman


Underline detail

You have questions, we have answers. We’re here to help you figure out if a HerStart International Fellowship is right for you. 

Get Started

Underline detail

Explore current volunteer fellowship opportunities