Young Women Leading Change: Lessons from the Young Women Transform Prize Grants
USAID sought to explore locally driven solutions to economically empowering young women with the Young Women Transform Prize (Prize). Funded through YouthPower Learning, Prize grants provided to seven youth organizations afforded them the opportunity to increase girls’ and young women’s access to training to improve their chances of economic independence. The grantees, primarily youth-led organizations, helped girls and young women to start or improve small businesses; learn coding and other computer skills; start savings groups and borrow start-up funding; and, in one case, increase outreach to thousands with online courses, webinars, and social media.
The purpose of this learning synthesis is to capture some of the most relevant and interesting lessons from the Prize grantees and their initiatives. The synthesis summarizes a review of project documents including grant applications, deliverables, final reports, results indicators, emails, and interviews with organization representatives. The report provides background on the grantees followed by lessons learned by themes critical to young women’s economic empowerment:
- Access to physical and financial assets
- Growing personal assets and agency
- Creating an enabling environment through systems change
- Facilitating young women’s leadership
- Addressing the digital gender gap