Empowerment through Enterprise. Entrepreneurship for Women Refugees

Wednesday 17 November 2021

Central London Humanists (CLH) are pleased to welcome Kate Allen, founder of WOMEN WHO WILL, in conversation with Isobelle Ford, Community Manager of The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN), and two inspirational women from their network, Yeukai Taruvinga and Maria Igwebuike, as they explore themes of empowerment through enterprise. The event will take place at the Conway Hall on November 17, 2021, from 7 pm to 9 pm.


What role can entrepreneurship play for women refugees and how can this change society’s perceptions of asylum seekers? How do we ensure women feel empowered to drive the economy? What role do social enterprises play in changing attitudes and creating a fairer society? Why are entrepreneurial communities for women so important?

WOMEN WHO WILL is a community for women in business who tackle social and environmental injustices through their work. WOMEN WHO WILL was founded by Kate Allen, a social entrepreneurship advocate on a mission to empower women in business and educate on the power of social enterprises.

Kate has a background in Project & Events Management, and has completed several certifications in Social Entrepreneurship, Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainability & Development. She truly believes that social enterprises have the power to change the world and tackle some of society’s biggest challenges.

Isobelle Ford is the Community Manager at TERN, a social enterprise and nonprofit that supports refugee entrepreneurs in the creation and development of their businesses, providing services throughout three stages of entrepreneurial process: business exploration, business start-up and business growth.

Isobelle also manages Anqa, a marketplace selling products and services from refugee-led businesses, and a micro-finance project called Skylight that supports refugee entrepreneurs with early-stage funding.

Yeukai Taruvinga is the Founder of Active Horizons. Active Horizons started when Yeukai realised she had knowledge that could help others. As a political refugee with a prolonged citizenship battle on her hands, no access to education, and no right to work, Yeukai had to defend her rights at every turn to be recognised as ‘legitimate’. She eventually realised that everything she had learned could(and should) be shared to help those without the means to change their situations.

And here began Active Horizons, originally set up for a small group of children to get access to extracurricular activities, but which now serves up to 50 Bexley children. Each one benefits from the skill building programmes which nurture independence and creativity to help youngsters navigate and flourish in their adult lives. Yeukai also runs her own boutique accessories brand, Shumba Boutique.

Maria Igwebuike is the Founder of Maria Callisto Luxury Lingerie. Maria Callisto is a bespoke lingerie brand that caters to women who want something handmade and personal for special occasions. The high quality and care they put into their products make it not your everyday shop, but you’re go-to for special occasions. High skill is paired with innovation recycling, refashioning customers’ scraps of fabric from, say, wedding dresses, into lingerie-repurposing and invigorating them.

For all collections, Maria uses a lot of dead-stock and remnants of fabric, so that she can reduce wastage that is likely to end up in landfill. Maria’s current project is called ‘TRINITY’, focusing on allowing and creating space to discuss periods freely and celebrate it. Maria wants to encourage women and young girls to freely talk about their periods without shame. She wants this project to remove this stigma of periods being dirty.

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