Earlier this year, I attended a conference in which the Founder of Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institution; Jane Wurwand, delivered a powerful keynote. Her passion for teaching people to create their own healthy skin has resulted in Dermalogica being the most professionally requested brand of skincare in the world.
The story of how she went from sweeping floors in a beauty salon in England; to immigrating to the United States with only a suitcase and a dream; to starting Dermalogica and the related struggles of being undercapitalized; to where the company is now, 25 years later, with offices in over 50 countries, and a brand legacy of empowering female skin therapists to achieve financial independence as entrepreneurs, was truly awe-inspiring.
That would have been enough to make me a Jane Wurwand fan because I can relate to her story in many ways. But, as fate would have it, Jane had one more weapon in her arsenal which sealed her significance in my life – her role in joinFITE (Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship), an opportunity to help women entrepreneurs in the developing world, with a hand up; not a hand out.
Why Women’s Economic Empowerment?
- 1 billion people (1 in 6) live in extreme poverty – on less than $1 per day, and a disproportionate number of these (70 percent) are women.
- Women perform 66% of the world’s work, produce 50% of the food, yet earn 10% of the income and own 1% of the property.
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90% of it into their families, as compared to 30-40% for a man.
The challenge for would-be entrepreneurs in poor communities is that there is little to no access to money. Some people only need $50 to buy fabric, but the banks won’t lend it to them because they are poor and in some cases, simply because they are women.
This is Where Microfinance Comes In
joinFITE, powered by kiva.org is a platform of active philanthropy to help women start or grow their own business and thereby help themselves and their communities become more independent through small loans, starting at as little as $25.00, from people like you and me.
To be clear, these are not donations and this is not charity. These are loans which are repaid back by the aspiring entrepreneur. To date, the average repayment rate is almost 99% and joinFITE’s goal is to empower 25,000 women to start or grow a business through this endeavor.
Lend Your Hand, Through Painless Giving
Part of the joinFITE’s Lend Your Hand campaign encompasses redemption codes that can be found on six of Dermalogica’s skincare products and through joinFITE Partners. These codes can be activated online to direct a $1.00 joinFITE Partner donation to an entrepreneur in a part of the world for a type of business of your choosing.
I have been fortunate to receive 2,000 redemption codes that will be funded by Dermalogica to share with my reach so that together we can maximize the chances of further propagation of joinFITE. You Activate the Code > We Loan > She Invests in Her Own Potential.
Again, I am not asking you for any money. I am asking for you to activate one of my joinFITE redemption codes by visiting http://www.joinfite.org/missyward, so that you can help me loan $2,000 to aspiring women entrepreneurs.
Simply complete the form, select Team “Missy Ward” and submit. Once all the redemption codes are collected, and the loans have been funded, you will receive an email containing some information about the entrepreneur who is benefiting for your action to help them. [These are just some of the entrepreneurs being helped by joinFITE].
If you would like to help a female entrepreneur directly, you can help fund a microloan for as little as $25.00! After you activate the joinFITE code, you can peruse all of the women's profiles and find one that inspires you. Together, you and she can start something bigger than the both of you!