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Girl power reimagined in the age of the solo-preneur

By Fiona Tapp on May 23, 2016

Girls aged 12-14 living in Ottawa have a new option when choosing extracurriculars and summer camps, that may just give them the edge when deciding on a career path.

Amidst the sports camps, art and drama offerings, they can now choose to discover the entrepreneur within.

Ambi-SHE-ous is an organization hoping to raise girls’ expectations and allow them to see themselves as potential bosses. It aims to empower and educate young girls, building their confidence and showing them they could be leaders.

Girls will learn about financial planning, technology, entrepreneurship, citizenship, and leadership, subjects largely ignored in schools. There’s certainly an interest in this type of programming as evidenced by the sold-out sessions last year.

We are in an age of solopreneurs, self-marketers and promoters, where we all have the ability to reinvent ourselves and find monetary value in doing so. And it is in this brave new world that this Ottawa initiative has found an enthusiastic reception.

The age group has been purposely targeted to the middle school years, as Ambi-SHE-ous organizers have found this is the age where young people start to become interested in business and making money, but are too young for a part-time job.

The program aims to show girls that entrepreneurship is a viable option for them, and equips them with some basic business startup skills, including learning about finance, marketing, branding and investing.

The organization also has a strong civic engagement focus and asks girls to “make money, do good, be the boss”, with the emphasis on choosing and creating businesses that give back to the community and potentially make an impact on the world.

The group has managed to attract some inspiring female business owners and leaders, including Bridgehead President and CEO, Tracey Clark, and last year hosted classes in the trendy and aspirational Shopify building downtown. It’s enough to make this grown woman wish she were 12 and had access to these resources.

The global gender wage disparity shows we still have a long way to go before there is true equality among genders, especially in terms of employment and financial opportunities, but with educational opportunities such as those offered by Ambi-SHE-ous the future is certainly looking more interesting (and profitable) for Ottawa girls.

 You can find out more about Ambi-SHE-ous (and enroll your daughter/entrepreneur-in-training) at http://www.ambisheous.ca/, or find Ambi-SHE-ous on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.