£100, three words, and many video calls later...
IT'S OUR BIRTHDAY!
‘It is a little known fact that the idea of Girls in Charge was born through a series of video calls. After meeting at an award ceremony, Maggie first pitched a rough draft to me in July 2018 on how we could structure the organisation and create a feasible model. Her “rough draft” was three words that defined what we should do: entrepreneurship, women and universities. One video call turned into two, which turned into twenty, which then turned into the venture that we now run with the help of a fantastic team.’ – Nikita, co-founder.
‘What a crazy year! After discussing how inadequate enterprise education had been for us, Nikita and I decided to create a workshop series to help young women acquire entrepreneurial skills. But, having spent hours in lectures everyday ourselves, we didn’t want to create more speaker-driven events, so we thought we’d create games instead. We were told that it was a good idea but we couldn’t execute it well and that we didn’t have the experience or knowledge. We were upset, but stubborn. We decided to cut 2 night-outs each, and pooled together £100. Last december, Girls in Charge was born, and that £100 sustained us for 6 months.’ – Maggie, co-founder.
In this first year, we have achieved so much more than anticipated when we first started this project. In the first 6 months, we partnered with university societies to run our workshop series at: Oxford, London School of Economics, Manchester, Leeds, and Westminster, we launched a national online networking event for female students, created our cohort group and conducted our first corporate workshop. We were invited to the launch of a new government report on female entrepreneurship in March 2019 and the 'Inspiring Entrepreneurship in Education' event at the House of Lords in April 2019. By the end of the 6 months, we were highly commended in the Vice-Chancellor’s Social Impact Awards at the University of Oxford, had our work recognised by the latest national report into youth entrepreneurship – Future Founders, and gained recognition alongside some of the biggest youth empowerment projects, such as Founders4Schools. Today, we have partnerships at 10 universities, and our online events are attended by students from more than 30 universities. In 2020, we will be working with the Prince’s Trust to launch a national youth entrepreneurship campaign.
The development of Girls in Charge has not come without its own difficulties – there were times when things didn’t go to plan, and times when things moved at an unexpectedly accelerated pace. With both co-founders undertaking full-time degrees, it certainly wasn’t easy to juggle everything. There were nights where we worked late and where we were managing seemingly a thousand things at once. But after one year of this mad journey that we call an organisation, we’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredible people and present our ideas to students across the country.
So what’s next on the agenda for us? Helping more girls take charge, of course.