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The ForUsGirls Foundation, Young Global Leaders (YGL)Accelerator, is a 7-week total immersive professional development, global leaders, and entrepreneurial training program. We designed this program to empower, develop, and mentor young Black, Indigenous, and of Color women and gender diverse aged 17-25.
The Emerging Young Global Leaders accelerator program provides training from Fortune 500 company executives, inspirational entrepreneurs, and leading industry professionals on the UN Global Goals, Global Citizenship, Design Thinking, Business Model Lean Canvas, Agile Project Management, Branding & Marketing, Sponsorship & Pitch Funding.
The YGL Accelerator provides insights on how to create, design, and launch social-impact-focused businesses and social justice community projects.
If you are ready to challenge yourself, learn, develop, and grow personally and professionally, apply to participate in the Winter 2023 Kitchener Waterloo Edition and compete to win $1,500 seed funding to launch your community project or business sponsored by Shopify.
This edition is made possible with funding from the City of Kitchener RISE Grant and Shopify.
NEW ACCELERATOR DATES
We welcome applicants from across Canada and the United States. Applications are now open, and we invite you to apply before the extended February 26, 2023 deadline. Successful applicants will be notified via email by February 27,
Gain professional development training from leading indsutry professionals and innovators.
Pitch your community project or business idea for mico grants to launch your idea.
Receive 3-6 months individual professional mentorship through our YGL Accelerator match mentorship program.
UN Global Goals: Global Citizenship & Activism
Design Thinking - Innovation & Prototyping
Business Lean Model Canvas & Business Plan Design
Agile Project Management for Teams & Projects
Branding & Marketing & Thought Leadership
Sponsorship & Financial Management
Creating The Perfect Pitch
Preparation for Accelerator Finale & Pitch Deck
Accelerator Finale & Pitch Competition
"Before joining the YGL I had the idea for my project seemed impossible in my mind. But after attending the workshops and working through the pitch i started to believe and see that The Black Healing Center could become a reality one day."
Share with us the impact the Emerging YGL Program on you both personally and professionally*
The YGL Accelerator Program has given me access tools and resources that have help expand my knowledge and unleash my creativity. The program provided me with guidance on how to effectively start a non-profit organization and it also taught me skills and techniques that will help me bring my ideas and visions into fruition.
"I was able to form my idea that I had in my head for years to an actual social enterprise! I never pitched an idea to group of judges before, so I loved this experience!"
Colleen James was elected to Regional Council in October 2022, representing City of Kitchener residents.
Colleen’s professional career includes more than 15 years of experience in municipal government at both the city and regional levels. As the founder of Divonify Incorporated, Colleen is a leading consultant on equity and inclusion. Locally, nationally, and internationally, Colleen partners with a wide range of public, private, and not-for-profit organizations and businesses that are committed to change.
Colleen’s values are central to her work as a leader. These values determine her approach to making decisions as a Councillor on behalf of the community. These values include building trusted relationships; having equity-informed community discussions; listening and collaborating; empowering and amplifying; taking meaningful action, and being accountable.
Colleen graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honours B.A. in history, political science, and Caribbean studies. She holds a master’s degree in leadership, higher, and adult education from U of T’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).
In 2020, the Canada International Black Women Event named Colleen one of the Top 100 Black Women to Watch. In 2021, she was named one of the Top 25 Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Persons of the Year by the Canadian Multicultural Group.
Nkechi Nwafor-Robinson, is an award-winning leader, and Technology Executive. Currently holding the position of Vice President, Technology and Operations & Services and a Cloud Transformation at Export Development Canada — but that’s not all. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, and minor in Computer Science, from Concordia University. Outside of work, Nkechi is involved in the Fitness Industry, and competes as a Professional Bodybuilder. She is founder and CEO of Empowered in My Skin Inc., a grassroots organization she is nurturing that focuses on Personal Branding and helping humans everywhere thrive on a daily basis. She aspires to help one billion people think in ways that is empowering. She is a firm believer that empowered people, empower people, which is the key way to create sustainable change in this world.
Dr. Joann Halpern is the director of the Hasso Plattner Institute, New York (HPI), a Design Thinking coach, and an adjunct professor of International Education at New York University. Prior to joining HPI, she was the founding director of the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI). Before she established GCRI, Dr. Halpern was Director of Academic Affairs and Senior Studies and Assistant Professor of International Education at Global College of Long Island University. She also co-founded Knowledge Transfer Beyond Boundaries, an NGO with projects in Cameroon, Nigeria, and Yemen. From 1996 to 2001, Dr. Halpern was Director of International Programs at Harz University of Applied Sciences in Wernigerode, Germany. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth College, her M.A. from Harvard University, and her Ph.D. from New York University. Dr. Halpern is a recipient of the Harvard Award for Distinction in Teaching as well as scholarships and fellowships from the Fulbright Association, German Academic Exchange Service, Robert Bosch Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She serves on the advisory boards of the German Accelerator, Charité Entrepreneurship Summit, Technical University of Dortmund, and University Alliance Ruhr.
Nancy Taiye Aragbaye has always been an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Since her youth, history has always been an interest of hers. Fascinated by how communities and cities grow, She hyper focused on developing solutions to transform impoverished communities to thriving environments. As a former Teach For America Educator, She discovered a gap in the education system - a desperate need for formal business & leadership development. In response to these challenges, She launched Strategic Solutions Global, an organization focused on providing Business & Leadership Education to Black Women across the globe. As a seasoned leadership expert, business strategist and Women’s Empowerment Advocate, she understands that female led sustainable small businesses serve as a key element to economic mobility.
Created Nigerian Energy Agency
Healing With Opportunity (Hwo)
Created Kali Kurls
Your contributions provide young BIPOC support to the delivery of the accelerator, the team and program participants. Your generous donation will fund our overall mission to empower young BIPOC womxn and girls.
Black Girls Healing Through Wellness is a mental health group therapy program for Black and racialized young women and girls (trans and non-binary) ages 12-16 to address symptoms and experiences of anxiety & depression to create coping mechanisms and a mindfulness lifestyle.