Sophie took part in our Road to Growth programme in Mexico from 2019-2020.
Sophie, who took part in the Foundation’s Road to Growth programme in Mexico, runs a yoga school. In this blog, she reflects how the Road to Growth programme helped her adapt her business through COVID-19.
“My name is Sophie, and I run a yoga school.
When I first read about the Road to Growth programme on Facebook I got emotional, because it showed how women bring so much to our society and the belief we should have in ourselves. Women share economic wealth and benefits, it’s not just our own businesses, it’s about community and the wider impact. It came at the perfect time for me in my journey.
I applied to Road to Growth as I needed change. I started on the first programme with 500 other women. It was a the perfect time for me as I needed to decide whether I wanted to grow and go into other areas in Mexico.
On the first day, we all introduced ourselves and our business challenges and ambitions. It was incredible to hear so many women creating things for themselves, their family and society. This was a big opportunity to focus on our businesses and how we could improve it for those around us.
My challenge was balance because it was just me running my business – I did everything. Road to Growth helped me a lot as they gave me many tools to improve my business, resources, social media support as well as planning.
Road to Growth believed in me and my business and gave me more self-belief and resilience to overcome challenges. I connected with other women with similar challenges and realised I wasn’t alone. It’s been spectacular, seeing first-hand the impact women can have on the world.
The second part of the programme was with only 100 women, so we got lots of one on one, bespoke support. The variation of businesses was amazing – from a shoe factory to a restaurant. I’ve met some incredible women who I admire and respect and have learnt so much from. I felt supported and Road to Growth helped me believe in myself. It increased my ambition even when times were difficult.
We had to prepare and deliver a pitch on our businesses, which was difficult, but it was a safe space to practice, and that gave me a lot of confidence. Somebody believed in me. Road to Growth gave me reassurance that I wasn’t alone.
The pandemic has been challenging, but Road to Growth has equipped me with seeing opportunities through difficult times, and we adapted by using Instagram live followed by opening a school online. It has been a very challenging year but has given us lots of opportunity to go international and find new ways of working, we have 5 teachers and we are building our student base in other countries such as Argentina, Ecuador and Spain.
My business isn’t about money, it’s about community and having a positive impact on others’ lives through yoga. My next steps is to grow further online, deliver quality classes and continuously learn. And reopen the physical school when we can.
I would encourage other women to apply for the programme, for many reasons. For me, the main reason would be the community, because it’s an incredible network, and to grow self-confidence and belief. It’s an amazing opportunity to stay focussed it will give you knowledge and advice to grow your own business wherever you may be in your journey.”
Our Road to Growth programme in Mexico formed part of our ambitious 100,000 Women Campaign
Since 2008, we’ve directly supported over 160,000 women like Sophie to grow and strengthen their businesses, and in turn support their families and communities. Now, our ambitions are growing, and you can help us achieve them: donate to our 100,000 Women Campaign today, so we can reach another 100,000 women by 2022. Road to Growth is highly scalable and adaptable, and the Foundation is actively seeking funding partnerships to launch it in new countries. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss potential partnerships!Donate now Partner with us
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