International day of the girl: full house in London for our first SPRING event!

International day of the girl: full house in London for our first SPRING event!

At SPRING, we believe in harnessing the power of business for good, and wanted to give a tribune to other organisations tackling girls issues in the UK and around the world. And what better day to do that than the UN International Day of the Girl itself!?
So we reached out to incredibly inspiring speakers, gathered a room full of professionals in various sectors – development, consulting, marketing, private sector… – and initiated a discussion around innovative business solutions fostering girl empowerment. By sharing our learnings together, we can replicate and scale up our impact, and make sure each of the 550 million adolescent girls in the world gets the best opportunities.

The event kicked off with guests arriving to the backdrop of Michelle Obama’s carefully selected playlist created specifically for the Day of the Girl. SPRING’s communications manager, Aurelie Faugier welcomed everyone to the event…

 

It's a full house at We Are Social
It’s a full house at We Are Social

The opening keynote, delivered by badass UNICEF Innovation and Gender Technical Advisor, Fatou Wurie, delved into how important it is for us to empower girls through innovative solutions.

Founder and CEO of Abianda, a company that works with young women affected by gangs, Abi Billinghurst, spoke about how they support young women to become more professional and skilled in order to apply them to jobs in the real world. One of Abianda’s teenage trainers, Monét Morgan, told her personal and powerful story of how she left gang-life and an abusive relationship with a man 18 years her senior, and how, thanks to Abianda she has developed her skills to feel more empowered and learnt how to make money legally!

Abi Billinghurst & Monet Morgan: Resilience is critical to survive and get out of gang violence, especially as an adolescent girl.
Abi Billinghurst & Monet Morgan: Resilience is critical to survive and get out of gang violence, especially as an adolescent girl. @Abianda1

Up next was Fearless Futures Founder and CEO, Hanna McCloskey, who spoke of how her company engages people in critical thought to understand and challenge the root causes of inequalities and grow powerful new ways of leading transformative change, which they do through leadership programmes for girls in schools and women and men in the workplace.

After the break we heard from Bonnie Chiu, Founder and CEO of Lensational, an award-winning social enterprise committed to sharing women’s stories through the transformative power of technology. They equip marginalised women in the developing world with digital skills and photography training so that they can share their stories with the rest of the world. The photography gives women a voice and a source of strength as well as income.

"Despite having strong role models, when I was 13 my aspirations were just to get married and raise a family" @bonniesychiu @LensationalOrg
“Despite having strong role models, when I was 13 my aspirations were just to get married and raise a family” @bonniesychiu @LensationalOrg

Lastly, a panel, hosted by SPRING with Sophie Marple and Ursel Barnes, both seasoned social impact investors, discussed why they became investors, what causes they choose and why, and what impact their investments are having on society and the wider world.

The event was wrapped up by UnLtd’s Research Manager, Emily Darko, who encouraged us to dig deeper, push ourselves and others beyond our comfort zones and spread the message of female empowerment not only with those who believe in girls, but those who don’t. Cheers to that!

It was a fantastic event and I could see how much care and passion went into it.”
It was a really interesting event and I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers, they were so thoughtful and inspiring!”
It was great to see a series of all female speakers tonight, well done SPRING”

Massive thank you to our SheSays volunteers, our speakers, and of course to everyone who spent these 2 hrs with us! It was our pleasure to have you all!

Contributing author: Arianna Radji, SheSays event manager