The Lotus Flower Women’s Business Incubator (WBI) provides a financial foundation and business mentorship for women-led small businesses. In addition, our women’s centre will host educational sessions on gender-based violence and women’s legal rights. Our women’s centre already provides adult literacy and English language courses in addition to other community-driven programming.
The Women’s Business Incubator will expand the range of business opportunities available to the women in this community. Many of the women have their own ideas about what sort of business they would like to run – each has their own skills and abilities, but most are lacking capital and support to start up these businesses. Our incubator would provide these necessary inputs while also providing the community support that is a vital intangible ingredient to business success. The women will be able to access all of our existing educational and wellness programs in addition to the business program, which helps to build their confidence, skills, and social networks, all of which contributes to a higher likelihood of success. In addition, we will provide a small child-friendly space so the women will not have to worry about leaving their children alone or find a care-taker. By providing this, the women can focus on their training and education and the children can build friendships with other children.
The WBI directly combats gender-based violence as it provides an opportunity for women to gain additional education, financial independence, and encourages them to be the primary decision-maker for their business. To complement this, we will also offer awareness sessions on GBV and women’s legal rights. We will invite their male family and other community members to participate in these awareness sessions. By including everyone, men and boys will not feel marginalised and can choose to take an active supportive role.
By providing financial support packages, mentorship, and educational awareness sessions, the women’s Business Incubator empowers women to earn an income through their own skills, become financially independent, and create a sustainable business for themselves. Any profits the women earn through their endeavours will be paid directly to them and under their full control to support their families and re-invest in their own business.