GirlDreamer has a small but mighty team! We each bring something different that makes us who we are and creates the foundation of values we are built on. Get to know more about who makes GirlDreamer possible.
Amna had dropped out from her short one-week at university and Kiran was on her gap year after deciding not to pursue a career in dentistry.
They were lost, had no-one to turn to and couldn’t feel what their lives were supposed to be like beyond the traditional route laid out for them.
So, they did what any BFFs do on a cold, rainy, dark night and spoke for about six hours about legacy and what the world should look and feel like for women of colour who have big dreams or who simply need support on their journey.
We weren’t ready for our own version just yet, so we went to seek what we could join.
We discovered a youth and education charity that mentored kids in schools who lived in areas of high deprivation.
We were stationed in a secondary school and became mentors who teenagers. It was here that we had the opportunity to tap into our 14-16 year old selves and offer the support we didn’t have.
So, our after-school women’s empowerment enrichment programme was born. That programme quickly spread around schools in Birmingham and after a couple of years of this came 2015, when it was time to leave the charity, a spark happened.
So from our bedrooms and garden sheds, we got to work on how we could create something in this world that supports young women of colour to live their best lives.
After a big long discussion much like in 2012, we remembered that feeling being in those schools, running those clubs and seeing the power behind raising your community and unleashing the power of women of colour into the world, we decided it was time to bring GirlDreamer to life.
With no experience, business knowledge, strategy, plan, accounting acumen or networks and about £500 between us in savings, we downloaded the forms from Gov UK, filled in our details and registered. We got work with our first ever GD event ‘Girls Night In’ and the rest, as they say, was herstory.
We worked backwards and spent three long, hard, wonderful years building GirlDreamer.
From navigating funding applications to paying ourselves pennies to make each month stretch to the next, we had made it through the biggest hurdles and challenges of the journey so far.
We had grown the team beyond just the two of us and welcomed more amazing women in who were helping us to meet demand, grow and sustain. It was at this stage we had run a game-changing Crowdfunder, took our work national, secured our own office, did an international R&D, won a bunch of awards … and decided to temporarily quit GirlDreamer.
Getting to this stage took everything out of us and we lost our way, so we made the difficult decision to take a break and decide if GD was the path for us.
Three months later, we returned! Only to then end up in a pandemic weeks later (but let’s not go there). However, this was the perfect opportunity to think deeper about what GD was going to be, look and feel like going forward.
On our terms and in ways that made sense to us first.
GD was and is not just a job or a company, it is an extension of us and our lived experiences and so it’s super personal. Because of this, healthy balance is key.
We spent 2020 online programming, which opened up our programmes internationally and we welcomed members into our communities from all over the world!
We grew the team again, created a new strategy, secured more funding than we ever had before and reclaimed our power with this journey. The digital version of GirlDreamer blossomed and we were going full steam ahead.
Blur of a year (don’t you think?!)
But there was lots of re-adjusting back to “normal life”. Opening up programmes in-person again, Amna went on to become a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honouree and Kiran became an Obama Foundation European Leader. These two girls from Birmingham were growing their dream, their own leadership, stepping into their own power and building an incredible community to share and grow with.
GirlDreamer officially turned five this year too and we basked in all our efforts.
Six years on, we’ve met some world leaders, worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, created some epic initiatives, won some awards but most importantly, we’ve connected with and supported thousands of women of colour on their journeys.
From all walks of life and corners of the world, we have had the honour of building alongside a community of incredible, passionate and talented women of colour.
We are now a team of seven, who work flexibly, live wholesomely and give our very best to the community we serve and the dream we have.
We are proudly built on lived experience.
We use our relatable experiences and perspective to create real change in our community. To do so, we ensure we always uphold these values:
Co-Founder & Creative Director
“The future is nothing but a concept. When you realise this, you will wholeheartedly and mindfully begin to enjoy the moments you’re in and never take them for granted. Having dreams is essential to having purpose, but not at the cost of losing out on the moments you’re currently experiencing.”
Co-Founder & CEO
“There is no such thing as perfect. Don’t wait for the perfect time or the perfect moment to pursue what you want in life. The journey is supposed to be messy, vulnerable and raw in all its glory. That’s what makes your dream so imperfectly perfect.”
As well as our core team, we are also governed by our board of trustees and these incredible women right here who make up our advisory board from all over the world. Since October 2020, they have been working hard to steer our organisation in a socially relevant, progressive and authentic way. They know our work, our community and the world around them and are perfect in supporting our mission.
And get the new ‘Why WoC need support and spaces of support’ resource + Access to our EXCLUSIVE AREA with the best we have.