We are delighted to bring you a recap of all that we accomplished in 2023 through resilient action and a strong desire to normalise gender equity in the global business environment.
As a non-profit organization, BMGA Foundation is focused on the empowerment of women by narrowing the gender skills gap in society because we believe that investing in women for a gender-balanced society translates to investing in strong and sustainable economies. Through initiatives and professional development courses that are led by globally renowned professors and industry experts, we develop essential soft skills in women which effectively address challenges that limit them from being active contributors to the GDP of their immediate environments.
In alignment with our vision of democratizing high-quality education, we extended our collaboration in 2023 to institutions such as the African Leadership College, University of the Witwatersrand, Lancaster University Ghana, Bowen University, University of British Columbia Graduate Student Society, and the Nanyang Technological University to join existing supporters such as the University of Ibadan, York University Graduate Students Association, Women at NTU Singapore, UN Women, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, Storywork International, EI Skills Group, African Society of Cambridge University, among others.
Additionally, the BMGA Fellows Program which is a social impact initiative designed to narrow the gender skills gap among university graduates completed its fourth and most diverse cohort. Launched in 2020, with participants from Nigeria, the Foundation extended its scope in 2021 to other African countries and had the first Pan-African cohort made up of individuals with keen interests in Business, Finance, Law, and STEM, among others. For the 2022 cohort, the program was expanded to include participants from Asian countries in a bid to foster collaboration and global relationships.
In 2023, we explored themes of diversity and inclusion even further by selecting 31 women whose education level ranged from senior year of undergraduate study to PhD. They are also from over 10 countries in Africa and Asia, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Sierra Leone, among others.
To improve programmatic system efficiency, our engineering team delivered a redefined product roadmap that took us on a surreal journey which reduced manual handling time for data analysis by 85% and generated a 4 out of 5-star rating from participants. By tailoring our marketing communication to suit each region’s cultural expectations while maintaining brand ingenuity, we also recorded a highly significant increase in website traffic and open applications to our flagship Fellows Program from 29 countries.
In measuring the program’s impact on BMGA Fellows, our M&E process arrived at some interesting findings. For example, in 2023, 99.9% of participants acquired very strong to outstanding professionalism skills through the program compared to 38% before the program. Additionally, 87% of participants acquired very strong to outstanding people management skills through the program compared to only 37% before the program.
Due to engagement in a collaborative, team-based business case competition – led by a tenured professor on emerging markets and designed for participants to learn how to solve complex problems by proffering viable solutions to pertinent issues within a country – our participants developed very strong to outstanding critical thinking & analysis skills, increasing from 43.3% to 82.6% after the program.
From a real-time standpoint, some of our Fellows gained admissions with scholarships into top graduate schools in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Some have received job offers with exponential salary increments from top domestic and international companies such as Stack Shift and Protium. Others have launched or established organizations such as Global Movers Network and Vibrant Girls Development Initiative that are actualising our transformational domino concept of directly and indirectly impacting 10,000 women by 2025.
Our 111 Fellows also connected and expanded their networks through fireside chats, meet-ups, and social impact projects across Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia. Just before successfully electing the second set of executives for the Alumni Network, our Fellows collaborated with six established social enterprises in Africa & Europe to volunteer their time and expertise in mentoring 800+ students who are navigating the critical phase of choosing their career paths.
Since the Foundation’s inception, we have teamed up with volunteers from top graduate schools, global institutions, and our exclusive alumni network in actualizing the organization’s goals. However, the Foundation launched its robust Volunteer Program in 2023, designed to provide flexibility for more volunteers such that they can work on specific projects at their own pace. The program, recruiting project-based volunteers from India, the United States of America, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria enabled the Foundation to partner with a total of 71 volunteers in 2023.
Tackling inequality to promote greater economic inclusion for women is a core focus of our Foundation. This is why we created a detailed impact assessment process which we will share via our 2023 Impact Report.
Finally, we would like to thank all of our staff, partners, sponsors, stakeholders, and the inspiring individuals in our BMGA community who take daily actions that ensure access to high-quality education needed to transform the experience of women across Africa and Asia.