Ladies Who L-EARN – Clore Fellow Asma Shah on her entrepreneurial inspiration
Since completing the Clore Leadership Programme, I have used my confidence, leadership skills and networks to push an agenda I feel passionately about. Ladies Who L-EARN is an annual programme in the East End that empowers 20 young unemployed women (recruited from local job centres) to locate their voice, confidence and earning potential.
This happens over six months through inspirational workshops; 1-1 mentoring; Trading Places – a project for women who make products to test sell them in local markets; expenses and paid work placements with largely cultural and creative employers; Ladies’ Den – a business pitch competition with prizes of business coaching and small grants for creative start up ideas; and graduation – a massive celebration of participant achievements.
The model works, with 80% of graduates at this point in paid, largely full time employment or in formal, mostly higher education. Retention and outcomes are impressive because of the inspiring people who deliver on it, including several Clore Fellows, and those who’ve completed Clore Short Courses. Life should all be about giving back.
The next challenge is to build a core team and grow programme funding to make sure the work can change the life chances of even more young women.
Asma Shah, founding director of You Make It