WomenChangeMakers Fellowship - Unique capacity building Fellowship

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WomenChangeMakers Fellowship - Unique capacity building Fellowship

IndiaGeneva, Switzerland
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Fellowship is a program of the Geneva-based philanthropic organisation, ‘Womanity Foundation’that identifies, supports and connects leading social entrepreneurs addressing women’s access to education, economic, social and political participation. In doing so, it empowers them to build sustainable models, develop synergies and increase their impact.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if women empowerment could be strengthened via capacity building support to viable social models beyond funding?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

WCM Fellowship is a unique capacity building fellowship offered to selected WCM Fellows who have demonstrated a strong anwomen empowerment model but need capacity to scale their solution. The fellowship offers holistic capacity building both at Fellow level and institutionally. WCM Fellowship builds professional partnership support for their Fellows based on their needs and take feedback from both parties on completion of the term of partnership.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

WCM believes that empowering women and helping them to improve their condition within their community creates lasting social and economic development, at the local level and on a global scale. Therefore, the fellowship supports outstanding individuals whose projects have the power to generate progress for women. WCM encourages its Fellows to learn from their professional partners as well as give both equal space to criticise or appreciate the efficiency of the partnership. WCM is committed to the success of their Fellows in scaling their solution and hence, pays vital attention to their feedback about WCM partners. The Fellowship is kept flexible to facilitate professional development of the Fellows and their organizations.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The first WCM Fellow in India was Safeena Husain who founded Educate Girls. WCM found her model powerful and committed support to help scale. WCM commissioned Accenture Development Partnerships to do a baseline needs assessment of Educate Girls in 2011. The study findings helped Educate Girls to raise funds towards their own institutional development. Educate Girls now strategically uses the economic value equivalent of WCM professional partners support to raise matching funds to scale their efforts. This creates a ripple impact at multiple level contributing to positive changemaking through partnership model.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

WCM Fellowship is committed to develop a global ecosystem of social entrepreneurs working for women empowerment who can learn from each other, lend support and collaborate to widen the solutions that have worked in a specific geography. WCM is careful about the quality of support that it brings to its Fellows and how it nutures this network than focusing on the number of fellows it has. In 3 years of its existence, it has selected 6 Fellows in Brazil and India and will continue to select fewer numbers. However, WCM has demonstrated the success of B2E alliance and will innovate further ways and tactics that can catalyse powerful outcomes in creating social change. This Fellowship is also a step ahead in bridging the corporate social disconnect to ensure that the corporate social responsibility efforts are based on experience and not Philathropy mindset alone.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

WCM Fellowship is part of Womanity Foundation that is founded by a committed Swiss Businessman Yann Borgstedt. His business supports the operational cost of the foundation while a committed team ensures proficiency of all the programs. There are long term commitments from business partners and funding institutions towards the Fellowship program.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

WomenChangeMakers Fellowship is so far an unique capacity building fellowship for social entrepreneurs working on women empowerment and having a scalable social model. Our Fellowship is unique as its partnership based. All partnerships are professional alliances that completely depends on the Fellow needs. Each partnership is determined with a specific span and milestone. Each partnership contribute to scaling of the model.

Founding Story

Yann Borgstedt is a Swiss Businessman who has a philanthropic mindset and has supported Global institutions (including Ashoka in the past). He was inclined towards sustainable development and saw Ashoka as one of the most powerful models. He was inspired by Ashoka's model to do something similar for women empowerment that will push sustainable development & women empowerment towards a positive social change. Through professional help and experienced team, Womanity Foundation was formed to establish specific women empowerment programs around the world. WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Fellowship was launched in 2010 and first fellow was selected in Brazil in 2011. In 2012, the Fellowship was launched in India. Now WCM has 6 Fellows in Brazil & India.
About You
Womanity Foundation's WomenChangeMakers Fellowship
About You
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Womanity Foundation's WomenChangeMakers Fellowship

Organization Country

, GE, Geneva

Country where this project is creating social impact

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Full Impact Potential: What are the main spread strategies moving forward? (Please consider geographic spread, policy reform, and independent replication/adoption of the idea or other mechanisms.)

WCM Fellowship in future will work in all geographic locations to address women empowerment and support viable social models that is advancing the cause towards a positive social change. By creating a global network of such social entrepreneurs, WCM envisions to influence policy makers to deeply pay attention to women related causes. The global network will be a forum to help Fellows showcase their models to wider audience and garner more support. This will be an opportunity for the Fellows to explore replication or scaling of their solutions or creating hybrid collaborations worldwide.

Barriers: What barriers might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

1. Funding could be a natural barrier to scaling the solution quantitatively.
2. Since the fellowship is dependent on professional partners engagement with social entrepreneurs model, the partnership activation(s) could be a barrier.
3. Corporate Policies for formal engagement

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

With the overarching goal of enabling social entrepreneurs to scale / replicate their program & ultimately maximize impact, WomenChangeMakers Fellows are provided with the following: i) access to professional resources & partners, ii) connections with investors & other social entrepreneurs working in a similar space; iii) mentorships, partnerships, and key professional consultations. Our key partners are Accenture, Booz & Co., Mercuri Urval, etc.

Closing the Loop
How does your project primarily ensure that feedback delivers results?

Create an environment where people give feedback freely.

Please elaborate on your answer to the above question.

Since WCM is driven by partnerships, its important that these partnerships are efficient and viable. Hence, WCM focuses on feedback from all their stakeholders in how a partnership works. WCM also uses the feedback that it gathers to share with all stakeholders so that the learning is distributed. The multi stakeholder feedback is helps everyone to improve their part in the process loop.

Languages: In what languages are you able to read and write fluently?

English, French.

2nd Round Questions
Thinking about your feedback loop; what information are you trying to get from whom, to whom, and to bring about what change?
What is the purpose of your feedback loop?

If other, please specify
What mediums or mechanisms do you use to collect feedback? (check all that apply)

If other, please specify
Could you briefly describe the way you collect the feedback?
What mechanisms are in place to protect people from retribution?

If other, please specify
What are the immediate benefits or incentives for people to provide feedback?

If other, please specify
How do you ensure new and marginalized voices are heard?

If other, please specify
What are the incentives for the intended recipient to act on the feedback?

If other, please specify
How does the feedback mechanism close the loop with those who provided feedback in the first place?

If other, please specify
How is feedback published/transparent?

If other, please specify
Give two concrete examples of how feedback loops have brought a program or policy more in line with citizens’ desires.
If there was one thing you could change to increase the impact of your feedback loop, what would it be?
What are your biggest challenges or barriers in “closing the feedback loop”?

If other, please specify
Are you aware of The Feedback Store?

What are the main uses you can envision for the Feedback Store?
What is the one thing you would most like to see changed to improve the competition process?
What are you doing to make sure that feedback providers know that they are empowered by the information they can give and that they know exactly what the information they are providing?