Three young women, laughing in a field of sunflowers, representing Girls With Impact
Photo by Antonino Visalli on Unsplash
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#StartSmall Backs Girls With Impact to Help Empower Next Generation of Leaders

#StartSmall, Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative, is backing the nonprofit Girls With Impact – the nation’s only digitally delivered business and entrepreneurship program for young women and girls – with $250,000.

“When you’re disadvantaged and you don’t have someone paving the way, you’re lost,” said CEO Jennifer Openshaw. “Girls at 15, 16 and 17 are building the skills and mindset to be a CEO or entrepreneur. That’s a game changer.”

As a result of the shift to online learning during COVID, Girls With Impact has expanded its reach to all 50 states. The program is now on a mission to train 1 million young women 14-24 over 10 years.

Starting small, driving big change

#StartSmall’s support will enable Girls With Impact to double to 10,000 the number of under-resourced women the organization will train through its 10-week mini-MBA Academy, in part through a new partnership with the New York State PTA. The Academy will be fully free to high-needs young women. Comparable programs are $2,000 or more.

The funding will also be used to enhance Girls With Impact’s “Impact Mentoring” program. This program propels young women to college and career success through tailored, one-on-one coaching with experienced corporate professionals.

“Every CEO can follow in Jack Dorsey’s steps for a triple whammy: delivering proven digital education, driving economic growth and developing diverse talent,” said Openshaw.

“Girls With Impact is doing important work to encourage and prepare girls to become entrepreneurs and join the venture community,” said Rebecca Lynn, general partner and co-founder of Canvas Ventures. “Thanks to Jack Dorsey for his commitment to helping prepare the next generation of women to lead from the top.”

Outcomes of Girls With Impact

Designed with Harvard University leaders, Girls With Impact offers a mini-MBA. Young women can move from idea to business plan and venture pitch, either live, online or self-paced. The program tracks a host of outcomes, among them:

  • Confidence: 85 percent feel increased leadership confidence
  • Speaking: 91 percent improve public speaking
  • College readiness: 93 percent feel more ready
  • College admissions: 98 percent report program key role
  • Pitching investors: 65 percent feel more capable
  • Managing cash: 75 percent feel more equipped

Raina Jain, 19 and a program graduate, is now launching her QueenBee immune booster. It will be available in 140 Whole Food stores throughout Connecticut.

Steve Wilson, CEO of Lapides Asset Management and head of Martin Van Buren High School’s Alumni Alliance in New York City, said that, of all the many programs brought to our students during my decade working with the school, “Girls With Impact was by far the most universally impactful.”

“I’m calling on CEOs to join Jack Dorsey: Support Girls With Impact and we’ll all benefit with a powerful next generation of women business leaders and innovators,” added Wilson.

About Girls With Impact

Girls With Impact is the nation’s only live, online business and leadership program for young women 14-21. The online mini-MBA equips girls with the tools, confidence and skills to be tomorrow’s business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators. The program has served young women in all 50 states and 11 countries. The New York Times recently wrote about its innovative education approaches during the COVID pandemic.

About #StartSmall

#StartSmall is Jack Dorsey’s philanthropic initiative to fund global COVID-19 relief, girls’ health and education, and efforts towards Universal Basic Income. Dorsey transferred $1 billion (28 percent of his wealth) to #StartSmall in 2020.