A message from our founder, Erika Brechtel.
As a leader you get to craft a vision, inspire your team, create solutions, take a few risks to make them happen, and sometimes, you have to make tough decisions.
Due to the Gaza conflict that began in October of this year, I had to make a decision on whether to move forward, postpone, or cancel our Egypt retreat planned for March 2024. We had 10 women register immediately when we launched it in August, and we were excited to experience the magic and mystery of Egypt together. But a month into the conflict, it was clear that the initial thrill and wonder had turned to worry and doubt. With no resolution in sight, the energy had fallen out of alignment with our purpose of Elevating Women Globally. When I sat with each option, cancelling and “resetting” was the only option that felt right.
I, as the leader, am charged with protecting, holding dear, and uplifting the energy of the women we serve — that includes the women we commit to on the other end, too. We had planned our first Local Women Founders Pitch Day for these underserved Egyptian, migrant, and refugee women founders building social enterprises focused on solving specific social problems in their communities. (Serving refugee women is a lifelong dream of mine.)
To honor the commitment we made to these women who were excited to receive much-needed support from women founders from across the globe as role models, I decided to do a bit of a pivot, and thankfully our counterparts in Cairo felt the same. In place of our retreat, we will be launching a capacity building training day and streaming in expert women speakers from our Élanoura Collective. I am surprised and incredibly moved to see an idea I had years ago come about in such an unexpected way. I hope this training day will be the pilot for many to come.
So although I end the year with a bit of heartbreak, I cannot help but look back at 2023 and be uplifted myself by what we all created together. We traveled with two groups of women founders to Morocco and Mallorca this year, gave thousands of dollars to nonprofits supporting women and girls, and created two fellowships for future and global founders. And looking ahead to next year, we will continue to create more opportunities for learning, connecting, and impact.
Thank you for your support, belief, and shared vision that every woman deserves to create her own future, generate wealth for herself and her family, and make her mark in the world, whatever that may be.
Onward to 2024 and all that awaits us!