March 8, 2021 — On International Women’s Day, Vital Voices is announcing its partnership with Google.org to accelerate progress for women’s economic empowerment. Alongside Project Everyone, Vital Voices will help Google.org launch and implement its new Impact Challenge for Women & Girls: a $25 million fund to support nonprofits and social enterprises creating pathways to prosperity.
The Impact Challenge for Women & Girls, which is Google.org’s largest investment to date in women and girls’ empowerment, opens for applications today, and is seeking new ideas from organizations around the world, advancing economic empowerment from all angles, ranging from programs addressing systemic barriers to economic equality, to cultivating entrepreneurship, developing financial independence and more.
Vital Voices is providing technical expertise for the Challenge, building off its 25-year track record of empowering women leaders. As ‘venture catalysts’, Vital Voices identifies and invests in women leaders with a daring vision for change, women who are solving the world’s greatest challenges.
In partnering with Google.org and Project Everyone, Vital Voices is continuing to ensure that advancing women and girls globally is at the center of philanthropic investments and strategies to ensure a more just and equitable world. President and CEO Alyse Nelson said, “To achieve gender equality, we must provide economic opportunities to women and girls. Never has there been a more urgent time to bring bold, new solutions forward and it is exciting to be working alongside companies who are willing to invest in innovative ways.”
COVID-19 has revealed and exacerbated inequalities and for millions of women around the world, undone decades of progress. Women have lost more than 5.4 million jobs, they bear a disproportionate amount of unpaid domestic work, and an estimated 20 million girls might not return to school.
“These alarming realities require swift and powerful action,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org. “When women and girls have the resources and opportunities to turn their potential into power, it changes the trajectory of their lives and we have a collective responsibility to ensure that generations of women and girls from all walks of life can live in a world where they are treated equally and reach their full potential.”
Gender equality continues to be a key factor in global progress across sectors, considered by many as the critical goal determining the success of all the Sustainable Development Goals. Kate Garvey, co-founder of Project Everyone said “Project Everyone is excited to partner with Google.org and Vital Voices for the Google.org Impact Challenge for Women & Girls, because gender equality sits at the heart of achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. We must harness the potential of all women and girls in order to recover equitably from this crisis and accelerate progress towards creating a better world for everyone by 2030.”
Alyse Nelson and Kate Garvey are members of the Impact Challenge expert panel, an eminent group of leaders including UN Women’s Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org, Vital Voices board member and US Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, and Vital Voices Ambassador, Saskia Nino De Rivera, who will help decide the Impact Challenge grantees. In addition to funding, selected organizations will receive mentoring from Googlers, Ad Grants and additional support to bring their ideas to life.
The application process, which opens today, March 8th, will close on April 9th, with the grantees announced later this year.
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About Vital Voices
Vital Voices Global Partnership invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s toughest challenges – from gender-based violence to the climate crisis, economic inequities, and more. We are “venture catalysts,” identifying those with a daring vision for change and partnering with them to make that vision a reality. We scale and accelerate impact through long term investments to expand skills, connections, capacity and visibility. Over the last 24 years, we have built a network of 18,000 change makers across 182 countries, each of whom are daring to reimagine a more equitable world for all.
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, brings the best of Google to help solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges combining funding, innovation, and technical expertise to support underserved communities and provide opportunity for everyone. We engage nonprofits and social enterprises who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a better world, faster — and we believe in leveraging technology and applying scalable data-driven innovation to move the needle.
About Project Everyone
Project Everyone creates campaigns and supports partners to raise awareness, inspire action and drive accountability for the SDGs, because they believe the Global Goals are the best roadmap towards a better future for people and planet.