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HerStory Podcast Series

Dive into the world of the HerStart program by listening to first-hand stories from young women entrepreneurs, fellows, partners and staff working together to advance women's equality globally.

Latest Episode

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In this episode, Hafsah Abdi, HerStart Communications Fellow, speaks with Isabel Atugonza about her role as YCI's HerStart Knowledge & Learning Manager in Uganda.

Isabel explores the challenges faced by women in the region and the transformative impact of the HerStart program on young women entrepreneurs. She shares how HerStart supports economic empowerment and gender equality through social entrepreneurship training, grant funding and initiatives like the Partner Innovation Fund, which builds local organizations' capacity to continue building a brighter future for women in Uganda.

All Episodes

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In this episode, Riley Chervinski, HerStart Communications Fellow, speaks with Mwanaidi Abdulla about her role as YCI's HerStart Operations & Finance Manager in Tanzania.

Mwanaidi discusses the challenges faced by women in Zanzibar, including low financial literacy, negative societal norms and unemployment. She shares how YCI's HerStart program collaborates with Canadian volunteer fellows and local partner organizations to support young women to start their own businesses, gain economic empowerment and break gender barriers.

In this episode, Ariel Tozman, HerStart Program & Partnerships Fellow, speaks with Humu Abdul Rahaman about her role as YCI's HerStart Partnership & Training Coordinator in Ghana.

With a passion for women's equality, Humu shares how YCI's HerStart program addresses the economic disparities faced by women in Northern Ghana, creating avenues for empowerment through entrepreneurship and mentorship. She shares real-life success stories, showcasing how HerStart has supported women to start businesses, gain financial independence and ultimately bridge gender inequalities in the region.

In this episode, Krista Manteiga, HerStart Communications Fellow, speaks with Nidhi Gupta about her experience as a HerStart Climate Action Fellow collaborating with our partner, Norsaac in Ghana.

With a background in environmental engineering, Nidhi shares how partnering with local communities to promote sustainability and environmental awareness has shaped her perspective on global climate issues. She also discusses her experience developing climate frameworks, supporting women’s social enterprises and her advice for future HerStart Fellows.

In this episode, Aisha Imana, HerStart Communications Fellow, speaks with Jessica Zapata about her experience as a HerStart Program & Partnerships Fellow collaborating with our partner, the Ministry of Information, Youth and Culture in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Jessica dives into her experience leading sessions for youth and supporting women entrepreneurs to promote their businesses, as well as learning Swahili to better communicate with her community and adopting the Zanzibarian “pole pole” mindset to be more present.

In this episode, Ashley Stevens, HerStart Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Fellow, speaks with Lindy Quann about her experience as a 6-month HerStart Program & Partnerships Fellow in Uganda where she collaborated with our partner, The Innovation Village (TIV).

Lindy shares her professional and personal growth while promoting digital literacy, gender equality and community development. She also offers a glimpse into her experience learning Luganda, the welcoming community she's embraced and her future plans in international development.

In this episode, Aida Embaye, HerStart Social Entrepreneurship Fellow in Mpigi, Uganda, speaks with Florence Nakamya, founder of the Transformers Academy – a social business that aims to motivate, counsel and guide young girls and women in her community for success. Florence talks about her experience seeing girls being misled at a young age and her hopes to see young women thrive in her community.

In this episode, Tierney Paige Russell, HerStart Communications Fellow in Ghana, speaks with Latifa Ayinbota Atule, founder of Latty-H Soaps – a social enterprise that creates skin products using organic ingredients. Latifa discusses her goal of improving skin health and employing women in her community and how YCI's HerStart program supported her entrepreneurship journey.

In this episode, Jessica Zapata, HerStart Program & Partnerships Fellow in Tanzania, speaks with ZamZam Khamis Juma, founder of Zajkha Organic Beauty – a business that creates products like soap and face scrub using natural materials. ZamZam discusses her goal of reducing harmful chemical use and women's unemployment in her community and how YCI's HerStart program supported her entrepreneurship journey.

This episode was conducted in Swahili and the English voiceover is provided by Ilham Haji.

In this episode, Shelly Steffler, HerStart Communications Fellow in Ghana, speaks with Musah Mariama Wunnan, founder of Mari NutriWorld – a social enterprise that produces pumpkin seeds, peanuts and peanut butter to reduce child malnutrition in northern Ghana. Mariama discusses her goal of improving children's health and unemployment in her community and how YCI's HerStart program helped her build her business.

In this episode, Rajeshwari Sriram, HerStart Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Fellow in Kampala, Uganda, speaks with Sabano Scovia, founder of Gracious Chalk – a social enterprise that aims to provide underprivileged rural and urban schools with learning materials. Sabano discusses her passion for quality education, her chalk-making process and how YCI's HerStart program and Catalyst Fund helped her build her business.

In this episode, Danielle Serge, HerStart Program & Partnerships Fellow in Tanzania, speaks with Hadia Mbarouk Saleh, founder of Khamasa Lishe – a social enterprise that creates nutritional powder for pregnant women and young children. Hadia discusses her goal of improving poor nutrition in her community and how YCI's HerStart program supported her entrepreneurship journey.

In this episode, Sheilagh Newland, HerStart Communications Fellow in Tamale, Ghana, speaks with Mary Abapale, founder of REVIVE Enterprise – an innovative social business focused on producing low-cholesterol moringa oils to promote healthy lifestyles in her community. Mary discusses how her business supports local moringa farmers and tackles health issues in her community and how YCI's HerStart program supported her entrepreneurship journey.

In this episode, Danielle Serge, HerStart Programs and Partnership Fellow in Tanzania, speaks with Mariam Mussa Haji, founder of Muzne Product – a social enterprise that makes nutritional products and powder. Mariam discusses her goal of improving health and nutritional deficiency in her community and how YCI's HerStart program helped her journey to becoming a social entrepreneur.

In this episode, Sheilagh Newland, HerStart Communications Fellow in Tamale, Ghana, speaks with Sahada Muzaa, founder of Muzaa Enterprise – a social business focused on empowering young girls and women by teaching them to make soap. Sahada shares her goal of reducing youth unemployment in her community and how YCI's HerStart program supported her to start her business.

In this episode, Kristine Vanderahe, HerStart Programs and Partnership Fellow in Uganda, speaks with Natasha Ruth, founder of Dhaiffe Solutions – a social enterprise that makes reusable sanitary napkins. Natasha discusses her goal of improving menstrual health and solving period poverty for young women and girls in her community.

In this episode, Qudsia Alvi, HerStart Gender Equality Fellow in Tanzania, speaks with Aisha Baker Makungu, founder of Isha Product - an enterprise that creates beauty and hygiene products from seaweed including soaps, lotions and shampoos. Aisha discusses her future goals for her business and how YCI's HerStart program empowered her to become a social entrepreneur.

This episode was conducted in Swahili and the English voiceover is provided by Ilham Haji.

In this episode, Isabel Atugonza, Youth Challenge International's Knowledge and Learning Manager in Uganda, speaks with Nankinga Viola Kukiriza, founder of V&E Organics - a green enterprise that makes organic fertilizer from manure to provide a better, alternative product to artificial fertilizers. Viola discusses her passion for gardening and the environment and how YCI's HerStart program empowered her to become a social entrepreneur.

This episode was conducted in Luganda and the English voiceover is provided by Isabel Atugonza.

In this episode, Patience Azukuzia, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Ghana, speaks with Zahara Tamimu, founder of Zahara Fashion and Designs – a business that creates clothing items and bag accessories using recycled materials. Zahara discusses her goal of employing young women and people with disabilities, as well as how YCI’s HerStart program inspired her to create an innovative social enterprise that positively impacts her community and the environment.

In this episode, Benedict Lucas, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Tanzania, speaks with Munira Foum Juma, founder of Gulioni Green Line – a social enterprise that collects waste from over 300 households in Gulioni, Tanzania to create manure. Munira discusses her goal of keeping her community clean while employing local youth through her social enterprise and how YCI’s HerStart program supported and inspired Munira to launch her business. 

In this episode, Winnie Namirimu, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Uganda, speaks with Mary Hillary Nandudu, founder of Social Innovation on Wheels – a social enterprise that supports women to grow their own businesses. Mary discusses her goals of empowering women and girls in Uganda by building their digital literacy and English language skills, the challenges women entrepreneurs face in Uganda, and how YCI’s HerStart program helped her start her own social enterprise.  

 

In this episode, Winnie Namirimu, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Uganda, speaks with Carol Namirimu, founder of Sister Coral Foundation – a business that creates energy-saving cooking bags. Carol discusses her goals of reducing pollution and deforestation while providing skills training to women in her community through her social enterprise created in YCI’s HerStart program. 

 

In this episode, Grace Wumbei, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Ghana, speaks with Mariam Iddrisu, founder of Mariam Millinery and Fashion Design Centre – a business which creates locally-made fashion goods and transforms litter into bags and other items. Mariam discusses her goal of providing employment and skills to others in her community through her social enterprise and how YCI’s HerStart program helped her launch her business.  

 

In this episode, Benedict Lucas, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Tanzania, speaks with Mtumwa Khamis Omar, founder of IKRA Early Childhood Centre – a kindergarten centre that aims to improve children’s academic performance, reduce primary school dropouts and keep young children off the street in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Mtumwa discusses the goals and challenges of her business and how YCI’s HerStart program helped her grow her knowledge and skills to start her own social enterprise.

 

In this episode, Winnie Namirimu, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Uganda, speaks with Jovia Birimuye, founder of Save More Briquettes – an innovative green business that produces briquettes for cooking as an alternative to charcoal made from wood to help reduce deforestation in her community in Mpigi, Uganda. They discuss Jovia’s goals for her enterprise and how YCI’s HerStart program helped grow Jovia’s environmental knowledge and confidence as a social entrepreneur.

 

In this episode, Grace Wumbei, HerStart Communications and Training Fellow in Ghana, speaks with Hamida Iddrisu, founder of Hammy Comfort Décor, an environmentally responsible business that produces products from plastic waste and learns about her involvement in YCI’s HerStart program. They discuss the challenges that Hamida has overcome as a woman entrepreneur with a disability in Ghana and the opportunities she can now offer other women with disabilities in her community.

 

In this episode, Cindy Lee, HerStart Monitoring and Evaluation E-Fellow, speaks with Laura Perez Gonzalez, HerStart Research & Insights E-Fellow for Tanzania and Gifty Osei Boateng, HerStart Gender Equality & Entrepreneurship Fellow in Ghana about their experience volunteering with YCI’s HerStart Innovate the Future program, including the key skills they’ve learned and advice they have for future fellows.  

In this episode, Sabrina Maulid, HerStart Climate Action and Entrepreneurship Fellow, speaks with Neema Kihwelo, Program and Training Coordinator with YCI in Tanzania and Esmond Quansah, Country Project Lead in Ghana. They discuss the main challenges with developing social entrepreneurship in their countries and how YCI’s HerStart program helps address these issues to create a positive impact for young women and their communities.  

In this episode, Emily McDonald, HerStart Climate Action and Entrepreneurship E-Fellow, speaks with Taylor Marlow, Program and Partnerships Lead at YCI and Ellen Martin, Co-Founder of SoJo – one of the HerStart design and delivery partners. They discuss the program approach and key elements more in-depth, including the entrepreneurship training designed by SoJo and how volunteer HerStart Fellows support the program.  

In this episode, Rafia Ajmal, HerStart Program and Training E-Fellow, speaks with Kristine Vanderplas, Director of Innovation and Sustainability at YCI, to discuss the goals of the HerStart Innovate the Future program, why empowering women social entrepreneurs is so important and what’s next for the program to continue advancing women’s equality globally.