Lotte Davis and One Girl Can work to break the cycle of poverty and fight gender inequality in Kenya through education and mentorship. One Girl Can’s unique holistic model empowers girls from the time they leave primary school until they gain meaningful employment. Through this cycle of empowerment, One Girl Can has been able to provide scholarships for close to 1000 young women, mentor more than 10,000 students annually through workshops, and has built 130 school buildings. Congratulations to Lotte for being selected as the YPO Global Impact Regional Honoree for Canada.
Davis was born in South Africa. At 10 years of age, her family moved to Canada to escape the hostility of the apartheid era, but her heart stayed behind. Lotte co-founded, AG Hair, a hair-care business with her husband in the basement of their North Vancouver home. The company has grown exponentially over the past 30 years. After spending years building the successful company, she wanted to return to her roots to pursue her personal passion.
In 2008, after building a successful entrepreneurial business, she was finally able to realize her dream to return to Africa. As a result, she found a way to advance gender inequality and help girls with no means to realize their potential to contribute equally.
Using the same entrepreneurial instincts that helped her build her for-profit business, One Girl Can was born. The intent of the organization is providing a holistic program that supports one girl with everything she needs to succeed in achieving the opportunity to be fully equal. The program empowers a girl from the time she leaves primary school until the day she gains meaningful employment.
Lotte continues to be intimately involved with the girls and the headmistresses at the 10 partner schools. Through these interactions, she’s learned to develop a highly successful model that inspires girls living in extreme poverty to be anything they dream of. One Girl Can now proudly sponsors over 850 girls. Many of the students are going to medical school, becoming Engineers, Lawyers, Internet Technologists, and Business Experts. The incredible mentorship program begins from the time the girls enter secondary school to their final year of university. The program now mentors over 9,400 students annually.