Proudtobeme was established on in 2012 as a social enterprise providing invaluable life skills via bespoke and practical classes for teenage girls between the ages of 13 and 18 years. It is a programme that responds to a growing number of distressed and disadvantaged young women that face an uninspiring future, often amidst a turbulent transition to adulthood exacerbated by drug and alcohol abuse issues, peer pressure, bullying and nutrition. Recent research suggests that 1 in 4 girls are clinically depressed before the age of 14 (Guardian 2017). There is a growing number of girls who are unhappy with themselves and feel less positive about life generally. Research has also shown that depression affects nearly 80,000 children and young people in the UK. With the sharp rise of social media, with its positive and negative effects, they aim to prepare these young women to rise against online bullying, and unrealistic media images, and perceptions. Proudtobeme aims to equip the young women with entrepreneurial and social skills with which they need to make the transition into adulthood. It offers positive support and empowering options that motivates the young women to confidently find their place in society, so that they can add value, and be equipped to be positive influencers in society.
After the workshop sessions: Young women report feeling more empowered to use their voices and make positive contributions to their communities Young women have increased health and mental well-being for them to be able to be more confident and a stronger sense of self. Young women have greater confidence/ well-being and self-esteem to achieve both their immediate and longer-term goals. Many of the previous participants go onto achieved much better grades at school; attend university and achieve good class degrees and / or secure employment and are contributing positively to society. The major difference is that the girls are better informed to make positive life choices which will impact them and their immediate community. They are more likely to fulfil their potential and become valued influential members of society. The community supports the social business by donating in kind and through advertising the service. Proudtobeme emphases the ethos of empowering others.

They aim to empower their volunteers, (who are often previous graduates), through coaching and mentoring by the Founder and Director of Proudtobeme. Their in-house training aims to build volunteers’ self-esteem and confidence by empowering them to empower others and through encouraging an atmosphere of ‘paying it forward’. Members of the social business have relevant experience and they also employ interns in: events, management, nutrition and health and fitness. As a not for profit sector business they would have liked more training in fundraising. Their advice to others who would like to create a business in this sector is to make sure that you network well and have accessed available training and have a disposable pot of funds if at all possible. In future, Proudtobeme aims to create a wide range of digital and other course content that will be an invaluable resource to young people, educational establishments and local authorities that wish to run the training courses. Proudtobeme’s future looks very promising as they have partnered with 2 schools who are interested commissioning workshops for their pupils. Their ultimate aim is to influence the UK schools’ curriculum via a programme of ‘wellbeing’ which empowers young women. They also plan to expand internationally, to develop an app and also design and introduce franchising materials.

 

For more information: https://proudtobeme.org/