Leader Spotlight: Assia Riccio-Smith of Evolvin' Women

Q: Where do you live?

A. Dubai

Q: Tell us about your organization.

A. A social enterprise at heart, Evolvin’ Women is helping hospitality businesses in the Middle East reduce employee turnover, embed social responsibility in their HR practices and generate a measurable social impact while providing unemployed women in developing countries with access to on-job training. Women who join our programme can gain international work experience, a job on their return home and build a brighter future in hospitality for themselves, their families and communities, despite the challenges they have faced growing up.

Q: What is the one piece of advice you would like to share with other women looking to start an organization?

A. As women entrepreneurs we have so much power to make this world a better place by choosing to establish a social enterprise.

Q: How can WorldWideWomen readers get involved in what you are doing?

A. Foundations in developing countries that work with unemployed women from a less privileged background, victim of rape or violence, can contact us to nominate women for the programme within their community and help them integrate in the economy of their country. Public and private sector can also partner with us to support our participants and grow their social impact.

Q: Who is the greatest female influence in your life?

A. My mum. Some of my most vivid memories are of my mum relentlessly pursuing initiatives in developing countries to reduce poverty by supporting children in education.

Q: Please share with us something that you want other women around the world to hear.

A. Perseverance is what allowed me to deal with 323 NOs and not lose focus while working towards my first YES! It is not about the numbers of NOs I received but about how hard I worked to measure our social impact and prove that our programme can help women have a place in society.

Connect with Assia and Evolvin' Women through their Facebook page!

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