Enterprise Rent-A-Car has donated £250,000 over five years to The Girls’ Network to fund the launch of its Ambassador Community, an ambitious network of young women living, working and studying across the country. The donation is part of Enterprise’s ROAD Forward initiative, a $55 million fund to support social and racial equity projects across the world.
Enterprise will also create a bespoke program of workshops, events and job shadowing opportunities for young women at The Girls’ Network. Enterprise employees will also mentor girls through the charity’s partner schools across the country.
The Ambassador Community is an inclusive network of young women with one thing in common – every member has been one of 2,000 former mentees from The Girls’ Network program. With a decline in youth services, and limited access to professional role models, the Ambassador Community provides young women with a foundation of support on which to build their future.
The Girls’ Network aims to inspire and empower girls aged 14-19 from the least advantaged communities by connecting them to a mentor and a network of professional female role models. The charity was set up in 2013 by schoolteachers Charly Young and Becca Dean in response to the multiple barriers facing young women, including limited confidence and self-belief and the pressure to conform to perceived norms.
Now in its ninth year, The Girls’ Network delivers transformational results by pairing more than 1,200 girls each year with a mentor via relationships with schools across the country. After taking part in the mentoring journey, 98% of mentees said their confidence had improved, 81% said mentoring helped them focus more on schoolwork, and 98% said their mentor helped them feel more positive about the future.
"Networks that encourage people to support and learn from one another are hugely powerful," Enterprise Corporate Social Responsibility and Charity Events Manager Simon Caughey-Rogers said. "That’s why we were excited at the opportunity of funding the creation of a women’s mentoring community with The Girls’ Network.
"Mentoring is central to Enterprise’s employee culture as it is beneficial for both the mentor and the mentee. Enabling women to support other women through their student and working lives will help to build a stronger workplace for all.”
"It has been my dream to create a network that inspires and empowers girls and young women to grab hold of their unlimited futures," The Girls’ Network CEO and co-founder Charly Young said. "The year-long mentoring is transformative but it’s not the end of the story.
"The Ambassador Community provides a life-long support network, with champions, role models and opportunities they may not otherwise have access to, but which will support them to realise their ambitions. As this community grows, we look forward to welcoming ambassadors back to the network as mentors themselves, inspiring the next generation and creating a ripple effect.
“We are so grateful to Enterprise for giving us the long-term funding to help us achieve this ambition. It means we can have a long-term, deep impact and support even more young women to realize their ambitions, discover their self-worth and develop their capacity to shape their world and their future.”