What happens when you empower women?
Not just socially. Not just culturally. But economically.
What happens when women are socially, culturally, and economically empowered all over the world? In work places, in communities, and in homes?
Jennifer Lonergan thinks she may have an answer for that.
Empowering Women as Social Entrepreneurs
Jennifer Lonergan is a social entrepreneur, and founder and Executive Director of ArtistriSud.org, an NGO which empowers women through social entrepreneurship training. She is also a new faculty member at Claremont Lincoln University. She has been called an empathic action hero.
Lonergan describes the women who go through her training as such:
“Women who first arrive in our training self-identify as mothers and women. After the program, their identity moves to leaders and entrepreneurs . . . They have gone from looking only at themselves in a small way to seeing what is possible.”
Lonergan will take her social entrepreneurship skills into the classroom beginning January 2017.
The exciting part of her class will be that the students will have the opportunity of traveling with her to Chile to implement a project for ArtistriSud.
The NGO works with artisans who are making crafts, but who need training in selling their products. Her volunteers will teach skills in entrepreneurship. The students from her class, Action Design for Change, will have the opportunity of designing and implementing an assessment project. When they return, they will prepare documents, reports, and media that can be used by the NGO in seeking funding or philanthropic support.
The Importance of Empowerment
Lonergan states the importance of women empowerment and the work that students accomplish with her NG, saying, “In the developing world, where the basics of food, education and health are at stake, the need to transform women’s role is critical. When women are economically empowered, they are able to exert a powerful influence over their own lives, their families and their communities, and effect positive social change. Making this happen starts–and ends–with daring to care.”
Not only is Lonergan blazing paths for women entrepreneurs in Chile, she’ll also be blazing a new path at Claremont Lincoln University: her class in Chile will be the first study abroad program for the university.
Listen to what else Jennifer Lonergan has to say about empowering women in her TEDx talk below:
Want to hear more from Lonergan? She was also recently interviewed by another faculty member in one of our previous blogs.