As hosts of Vehicles of Change, Claudia and I have the privilege of sitting next to some incredible change-makers with inspiring stories. Gabrielle Jordan is no exception. This young lady founded her first company at age 9, wrote a best-selling book at age 11, became a TEDx speaker at age 14, founded the EXCEL Youth Mentoring Institute, and hosts the UV Effect podcast!
If you've ever used your age as a reason to not start something, or to justify waiting until you're older, those excuses will be forgotten after you watch Episode 4!
As an entrepreneur of a decade, I immediately connected with Gabrielle as she talked about the freedom of creating her own company and own destiny. I was inspired by how much she loves what she does, and how finding her passion early in life led to her success. I too believe that entrepreneurship gives women the opportunity to be in control of their destinies. It's something I'm passionate about!
When we asked Gabrielle her best advice for viewers to go from inspired to empowered, she encouraged them to dig deep and figure out what unique thing they had to offer the world. In finding that gift, they would then be able to find ways to share it with others.
Oh my, what is there not say about Gabrielle Jordan? She is what we call in international development a “rising role-model for youth.” You may ask what that means and why?
After having Gabrielle on Vehicles of Change and listening to her incredible TEDx talk, it became apparent to me that Gabrielle contributes to the United Nations 2030 Global Goals agenda in many more ways that she may think.
Like many international development professionals, Gabrielle intuitively identified a global problem and found a solution for it. As an Entrepeneur this is what one would naturally, but in Gabrielle’s case she did much more. She turned her passion of jewelry design into a brand and was able to build a small SME out of it, to hence provide what we call in global development capacity development and skills transfers. Through her skills and passion for the art of jewelry design, she build a community around her cause and business and this is something that can easily be scaled up in developing countries as well.
Think about it, what tools do young women in a small Massai village in Northern Kenya have available? Their hands, their skills and resources nature provides them with. Just like Gabrielle they are provided with resources, but may not have the right tools for it yet. The entrepreneurial spirit needs to be ignited in them so they can find opportunities to alleviate themselves out of poverty to create businesses like Gabrielle’s. Her book is geared towards helping others build a solid business foundation using the same principles employed when she started her business at age 9. But it does not stop there with this youth powerhouse. She understood at the mere age of 9, to take the lessons she has learned in her entrepreneurial journey and put her thoughts into words and help the readers of her book to understand how they can do the same. Again, she creates what we call in global development capacity development and knowledge transfer mechanisms.
What you can learn from Gabrielle in Episode 4:
It is never too early to get started and take the first step. We all have ideas- and in particular for you readers in developing countries- please take your idea to a local NGO, your policy makers and politicians or country office of an international development organization and think like Gabrielle. How can my business create change, alleviate poverty and how can it help to develop capacities within my community as well?
Where do I see Gabrielle in a couple of years from now? I can tell you exactly where! She will be the next United Nations Youth Observer to teach international development organizations and their member countries how her idea was turned into actions to raise awareness for the sometimes forgotten youth in those countries. She inspires, educates and empowers and much more than that she created a business and model for herself that can help so many others out there!