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Press Release-HER Lab: An Economic Empowerment Incubator

November 18, 2022

The Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship of Drexel University is partnering with the Global Give Back Circle (  in a program entitled “HER Lab: An Economic Empowerment Incubator”.  

Global Give Back Circle was founded by Drexel alum, Linda Latsko Lockhart ’78, in 2005 with the mission to empower adolescent girls living in Kenya to become future leaders in their communities. A ten-month long program for post-high school women, HER Lab provides participants with education, mentors, resources, career opportunities, and pathways to higher education programs, scholarships, and loans with the goal of combatting the harmful cultural practices prevalent in rural Kenyon communities that keep women in the margins.   

 Another goal of the program is to link participants to career and entrepreneurship opportunities. This is where the partnership with Drexel comes into play: two Drexel students, Victoria Miller (BA ’24, Entrepreneurship and Innovation) and Ananya Jain (BA ’26, Finance and Business Analytics) are leading weekly one-hour online sessions with the young women that began at the start of November 2022 and will continue until April 2023 as part of an Independent Study program. These sessions are designed to teach skills that will not only help participants identify the careers that they feel most passionate about but allow them to become financially independent. Victoria and Ananya will split the sessions: Victoria will lead the entrepreneurship curriculum and Ananya - the business curriculum. Victoria’s lessons will focus on subjects such as developing an entrepreneurial mindset, how to write a mission statement, and how to test your ideas. Ananya’s lessons will focus on business and finance skills such as accounting, business model development, and how to use business metrics to track growth. Participants will also be exposed to resources that they can locally access to grow their businesses – such as investors and partnerships. The women will also participate in a pitch competition where they will have the opportunity to present their efforts and future plans. 

 Dr. Ozlem Ogutveren-Gonul is the Drexel faculty member overseeing Victoria and Ananya’s work with the HER Lab. She is excited to be a part of his program. Dr. Ogutveren-Gonul has a background in Social Entrepreneurship and this program is serving to ignite her passion for change: “I am very excited about our partnership with GGBC and the HER Lab program. Through this initiative, our students are gaining experience in social entrepreneurship by learning about critical problems faced by different communities around the world. I cannot wait to see the impact they will create on the lives of young women in Kenya, and I hope that we will have the opportunity to continue the program past 2023.” 

 Of this program, Ananya says “Being a part of this program helps fulfill my wish to make an impact on the lives of young women. Rural entrepreneurship plays a vital role in eradicating poverty, thereby developing a healthy sustainable ecosystem. I wholeheartedly believe that empowering women is essential to the health and social development of families, communities, and countries. When women are leading content and productive lives, they can reach their full potential and I can see that happening one day at a time through this program.”  

 Victoria feels the same: “I am seeing, first-hand, the monumental impact of education, specifically entrepreneurial education, on these young women. They are gaining the tools to empower themselves and their communities.”  

For more information regarding The Close School of Entrepreneurship of Drexel University and its partnership with the Global Give Back Circle and the HER Lab, please contact Melissa Tevere at