Press Institute Women's Center Intro
An brief introduction to The Women's Center of Knowledge and Empowerment, a social enterprise of The Press Institute
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press Institute Women's Center Intro
imagine a place where women
learn • connect • collaborate • thrive
The Womenʼs Center for Knowledge and Empowerment
a social entrepreneurship project of The Press Institute OUR IMPACT
Nairobi, Kenya by the end of year two
Women are empowered
A Need 30 women receive direct economic
empowerment through employment and
Joanne Wanjala was born in Namilama, a
remote, male-dominated village in the
Bungoma district in western Kenya. When she Women are informed 12,000 hours of
was 12-years old, Joanne found herself Internet are used by women through cyber
seeking refuge with an aunt after her father cafe.
tried to force an arranged marriage. Despite
the odds stacked against her, Joanne Women are educated
completed secondary school and graduated 5,000 women gain knowledge, skills and
from the University of Nairobi with a degree in tools to advance their careers.
Communications. Thanks to a University
Women are supported
scholarship, Joanne is now working on a
100 women are paired with a mentor to
masters degree in literature. She is married with a young son. reach their goals.
Despite all her achievements, Joanne continues to face challenges. The Women thrive
cost of Internet access in Nairobi is prohibitively high but she needs the Thousands of women improve their lives
Internet to do research for school work. Even after graduation, Joanne and pass on their knowledge, skills, tools
will be challenged to ﬁnd gainful employment in a country that has a 40 and wisdom to thousands more.
percent unemployment rate. Although she has overcome so many of the
barriers that women face in Kenya, Joanne wonders how she will be able OUR ADVISORS
to contribute to the care of her family if she cannot ﬁnd a job. Melissa Beran Samuelson, Clinical
Professor, Thunderbird School of Global
Joanne’s story is just one of millions of stories about women who need Management
education, access to information and opportunities for personal and
Natasha Deganello Giraudie, CEO, Micro-
Our Solution Gemma Dreher, Senior Counsel,
The Press Institute is launching our next news desk together with our
ﬁrst-ever income-generating social enterprise, The Women’s Center for Harrison Goodall, Chief Operating Ofﬁcer,
Knowledge and Empowerment. The Center will house a news desk, One Global Economy
cyber cafe, business center, community education space and childcare Jeanne Marie Grumet, President,
center. It will be a dynamic space that will: Communications Catalyst
Amy Lombardo, Founder,
✓ Produce powerful stories about the reality of life in Africa - not as
True Nature Wellness
a dying continent, but a complex place teaming with life.
✓ Increase access to information, education and vocational training Gabrielle Rapport, DIrector of Corporate
for women in journalism, technology and business. Responsibility, Ontier
✓ Provide safe space for women to network, collaborate, mentor, OUR PARTNERS
coach and support each other.
Africa Yoga Project
✓ Generate funding for journalism program in Kenya.
Haki Self-Help Group
Global Girl Media
One Global Economy
The Press Institute is advancing social equity and Voluntary Youth Philanthropists
economic justice for women in Kenya. Join Us!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is The Press Institute?
The Press Institute is run by Executive Director Cristi Hegranes, an award-winning journalist and nonproﬁt
leader, and an eight member board of directors. Our in-country news desks are staffed by local women and
men who have completed The Press Institute's Certiﬁed Reporter Training program, ensuring they are
responsible, solutions-based storytellers with strong source access and unique story angels.
Why are you starting a social enterprise?
US-based individuals and foundations generously fund PI. A key initiative in 2010 is to develop in-country
social ventures to generate earned income for local programs and operations, thereby helping to alleviate 100
percent reliance on US-based ﬁnancial support .
How does this initiative ﬁt into your mission?
The Center will be PI’s ﬁrst income-generating enterprise designed explicitly to fund news desk operations and
journalism training programs It will will offer a full range of services to women, helping them to reach their
personal and professional goals, be engaged and accountable citizens, and improve their economic livelihood.
Kenya, with its relatively stable government and cosmopolitan capital, offers The Press Institute a strategic
location for gathering and disseminating original news content from east Africa. However, Kenya remains
fraught with gender inequality and vast socio-economic disparity, preventing women from realizing their full
Simply put, women still face gender inequities in Kenya that prevent them from realizing their full potential.
• 8% Women in parliamentarian and leadership positions
• 18% Women represented in political decision-making
• <1% Women reporting on politics and government
• 8% Women as subjects in political news
• 16% Women enrolled in computer science programs
• 57% Women-owned business income compared to men-owned
Undaunted by these stats, women are mobilizing in unprecedented numbers. The time for a social
entrepreneurial venture aimed at advancing social equity and economic justice for women is now.
Why a center for knowledge and empowerment?
First, the Press Institute was founded on the belief that when people have access to information, they are able
to live fuller, freer lives. Second, we have witnessed ﬁrst-hand, either through our own experiences and through
observation, the transformation that comes when women are given tools for empowerment. Third, there are few
full-service cyber cafe that cater to women. We see this an opportunity to ﬁll a need in an under-served and
How will you earn income?
The Center will generate revenue from its core business units: the cyber cafe, the business center, and the
community space. Income from the business will be directed to PI’s journalism programs in Kenya.
Who is leading this project?
This project is being led by Jennifer Ruwart, our Global Business Development Director. With over 15 years of
domestic and international experience in project, program, and operational management, Jennifer understands
what it takes to nurture and grow big ideas. Learn more about Jennifer
Stay up-to-date on the latest news about this project by following Jennifer's blog, An Entrepreneur on a Mission.
You can also reach Jennifer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 300-7648.