A Youth Challenge International initiative to advance
women globally for an equal and more prosperous economy.

HerStart_logo mark

HerStart, our future.


The HerStart initiative ensures gender equality is a priority across all YCI’s solutions. Our approach begins at the source of inequalities, working in partnership to provide accessible, innovative resources and create a positive, sustainable economic ripple effect.

Gender equality begins with the enabling environment. HerStart works to address the specific root causes and barriers that girls and women face.

Through innovation execution, HerStart breaks down gender barriers and provides access to emerging resources with the support of global partners.

When women and men have equal rights and participation in decision making, positive economic impact is realized for us all.

Why women’s economic empowerment?

Around the world, many women still face discrimination and gender inequalities that create barriers to their sustainable livelihoods. Yet we know that when women are given the opportunity to thrive, everyone benefits. Youth Challenge International’s HerStart gives aspiring female entrepreneurs access to opportunities that will help them launch their business ideas and a better future for all.

The following entrepreneurs are proof that when women have opportunities, everyone benefits. They are all graduates of the EQWIP HUBs project entrepreneurship program and recipients of the Youth Innovation Fund.


Mardiana launched her food product line Bakso Mejik. Now including vegetarian foods, Bakso Mejik also educates others on the importance of buying local, fresh foods.


Theodosia is now running her own custom clothing business. She also gives back by offering mentorship support to the next generation of entrepreneurs in her community.


Sahada leveraged her enhanced skills to launch BASHAD’s Farms – an agriculture business committed to equally employing women and men, breaking down gender barriers and empowering women to take on traditionally male-dominated roles.


Eveline launched a watermelon business and learned how to sustainably leverage profits from her harvests to expand operations and buy more farm land.


María’s restaurant, La Yapita Restaurante Campestre, serves Peruvian food from locally sourced ingredients, grows its own organic garden and educates customers on the importance of organic produce.


Imoro is building Zana Farms, an agricultural business that will distribute mainly through women’s networks, provide advocacy services for organic family nutrition and offer land leasing opportunities to women in the district.

It just makes economic sense and Canada agrees

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy states that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will be the core area of work. It acknowledges that, despite dramatic reductions in global poverty in recent years, women and girls are still facing unique barriers to building sustainable livelihoods. And yet, focusing on helping women and girls thrive is the most effective way to address the root causes of poverty.
Canada has adopted a feminist approach because we firmly believe that women and girls have the ability to achieve real change in terms of sustainable development and peace, even though they are often the most vulnerable to poverty, violence and climate change.
We agree Canada and we are committed to advancing women globally too.
Together, we can make a difference.
Learn How to get involved or donate

Stay in the know about how YCI’s HerStart is advancing women globally for an equal and more prosperous economy.

Stay in the know about how YCI’s HerStart is advancing women globally for an equal and more prosperous economy.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Youth Challenge International, 585 Dudas St East, Toronto, ON, M5A 2B7, https://www.yci.org. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact