“Collective i has opened my eyes to a world only vaguely talked about in school. For a person who wants to see and change the world, writing for Collective i has allowed me to really get a sense of the problems our world faces, and how every day companies are able to make a difference one step at a time through a business model that needs to be more widely spread.”
In 2006, Women’s Global Network, Inc. (“WGN”), was launched as a women’s business networking group in San Diego, California. Over the next few years branches were opened in numerous cities in the United States. From its inception, WGN attracted dynamic business women who enjoyed educational, social and philanthropic events offered by WGN. When asked what set WGN apart, the members would enthusiastically respond “What makes WGN different, is the difference it makes!”
WGN was approached by various non-profits to align with their microfinance programs and assist in the support of education and funding of small enterprises led by women in developing nations. Through member donations to NGOs, WGN became involved in microfinance and educational programs for the poor. In line with the mission to Invest in Women™, a number of women were funded in Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Mexico, Honduras and Peru through the efforts of WGN members. In addition to its many local and international community programs, WGN launched a mentoring program for young women, the Collective i Leadership program.
In 2010, WGN members suggested that a separate nonprofit be organized where their donations and additional corporate donations or grants can be pooled, targeted and then distributed in support of worthy causes in a more effective and worthwhile manner than individual smaller donations to other nonprofits. The philanthropic programs supporting microfinance projects and educational programs for women that originated in WGN have moved to WGN Global Fund where the focus can be on their growth and enrichment.
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The Collective i Leadership Program
The Collective i Leadership Program, is an educational and inspiring program for junior and senior high school girls who will be charged with creatively constructing profitable solutions while they provide meaningful and sustainable service to the global community. This emerging and technologically advanced group of dynamos easily connects with the faceless millions, understands the inequities and is anxious to even the playing field. Skills are developed in think tanks and weekend camps that target finding solutions to the planet’s most pressing needs. Students have the opportunity to meet and interview social entrepreneurs and corporations that give back to their communities and share their findings in a monthly newsletter, Collective Mind Matters. In addition to telling the world about people and companies that are making a difference, they receive publication rights, work experience, recommendations for college applications, help in writing their resume and a wider insight to the world and where they can make a difference.
Global Business Partners
WGF envisions a radical change in the way funds have historically been invested, an intimate grassroots movement to shift wealth and education from women who have it to women who don't, binding them as partners in change. Through the Global Business Partners program, women are connected with other women in emerging nations who need assistance with education and funding for small businesses. It has been observed that giving women the control and the responsibility of small loans raises their socio-economic status, often benefiting the whole family as they allow mothers to feed, clothe and educate their children.
WGF has researched some excellent microfinance organizations working in villages around the globe. WGF hopes to create true partnerships where we can celebrate the success of women everywhere. WGF immersion trips offer donors the opportunity to meet the women they assist where they can volunteer to lead educational workshops or participate in special needs projects of the community.
As the world becomes flatter and more accessible through travel, greater telecommunications and economic necessity, WGF is on the forefront in extending its talents and desire to get to know and Invest in Women™ globally.