Welcome the new WomenChangeMakers Fellows

The flagship program, which helps social entrepreneurs become a catalyst for large-scale social change for women and girls, has selected four social enterprises to join the WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Fellowship in India and Brazil.

Following a high number of nominations from WCM program partners and a rigorous selection process, the Womanity Foundation is delighted to welcome four new social entrepreneurs to the WCM Fellowship. The WCM Fellowship aims to identify, support and connect leading social entrepreneurs, who are addressing women’s access to education, healthcare as well as economic and political participation.

WomenChangeMakers (WCM) India Fellows:

WCM India recognizes Aparna Hegde of Armman and Prema Gopalan of Swayan Shikha Prayog, as the fourth generation of WCM Fellows.

Aparna Hegde – Founder of Armman (Advancing Reduction in Mortality and Morbidity of Mothers, Children and Neonates).

Armman was founded in 2008 in Mumbai, India, by urogynecologist and pelvic floor reconstructive surgeon Dr. Aparna Hegde. The social enterprise offers a range of technological and human interventions that plug the gaps in the public health system. It does this by forming a complete wellness circle around women and children, to reduce morbidity and mortality among India’s poorest populations. With a strong foothold in rural communities and through the effective use of technology and NGO partnerships, Armman‘s services tackle existing gaps in prevention, medical/health information and care, while at the same time building a cadre of community health care professionals from within a targeted group of women. Armman‘s technological interventions have been designed to achieve scale cost-effectively with impactful and measurable outcomes that can be replicated.

As part of the fellowship program, Aparna and Armman will be receiving support from the WCM program in developing their delivery model and strengthening their organizational effectiveness to better enable their scaling efforts. WCM will be working with them for the next three years.

Prema Gopalan – Founder of Swayan Shikha Prayog.

Prema Gopalan founded Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) in 1998 as a grassroots learning and development organization, focused on empowering women in disadvantaged and underserved communities across India. Together with its beneficiaries, SSP is transforming communities by nurturing and helping develop rural female social entrepreneurs, who are working in clean energy, sanitation, basic health services, nutrition and safe agriculture. Over time, these women have scaled operations and aggregated these into sustainable value chains. By tapping the power of rural female social entrepreneurs in ailing economies, SSP has opened up non-traditional sources of income, which have tripled household earnings, and built new leadership capital in excluded areas. By developing these women’s social, economic, and political competencies, and by integrating them into development and government processes, SSP has developed these women into a formidable army of agents of change.

WCM will be working closely with Prema and SSP in creating a long-term growth strategy as well as conducting an assessment of their organizational needs, to enable a deeper and broader impact on women’s socio-economic empowerment. Currently, Prema is being awarded an Associate Fellowship, which enables her to focus resources provided by Womanity on a select number of projects rather than the full suite of services that the complete fellowship has to offer. WCM is open to extending forward support to SSP, should there be any scope on the basis of this initial commitment.

WomenChangeMakers (WCM) Brazil Fellows:

In Brazil, the WCM Program celebrates the selection of two new WomenChangeMakers Fellows: Denise Dora of Themis and Juliana de Faria of Think Olga/ Think Eva.

Denise Dora – Co-Founder of Themis (based in Porto Alegre, Brazil).

Denise Dora and the Themis Team intend to use their WCM fellowship to build on the capability they already have and maximize their impact. WCM will provide Themis with strategy and management support to enable their scalability for the purpose of creating greater social impact.

Juliana de FariaCo-founder of Think Olga and Think Eva (based in São Paulo, Brazil)

Juliana de Faria was only 11 years old when started experiences harassment on the streets of Brazil. It is what prompted her activism and inspired the numerous publications in which she writes about those experiences. Experiences that Brazilian women and girls have to live through on a daily basis. Juliana chose to use her stories to help raise awareness around the problem and provide women with the recognition of the violence being committed. With that in mind, she co-founded Think Olga and later Think Eva.

Think Olga (Citizen Sector Organization) and Think Eva (business arm), are perceived as feminist movements that fight for women to have more social and political choices. Think Olga promotes the conversation around feminism by creating collaborative projects as well as media and content production. While Think Eva is a feminist intelligence center that connects companies and brands to the reality of women in Brazil.

Being part of the WCM Fellowship, will enable Juliana and her team to build a stronger strategy and organizational structure to deal with the fast growth they are experiencing. It will also mean that they can continue innovating with the use of technology and further evolve their approach to impacting the lives of the women and girls of Brazil.

As WCM Fellows, all four fellows will receive the investments they need to growth their social enterprises. The fellows will also be able to benefit from the Womanity Foundation’s network of partners and supporters.

The WomenChangeMakers Fellowship is a program of the Womanity Foundation, which strengthens social impact through strategic collaborations between social entrepreneurs who work for women’s empowerment, and professional partners from the corporate, academic, and social development spheres.