Girltank – A Call To Arms For Women Entrepreneurs & Social Change
At different stages of her career, Tara Roberts of Atlanta, Georgia worked as an editor of Essence, Heart & Soul, Ebony, and CosmoGirl magazines. In addition, she edited two books on girls’ sexual health. She also went on to publish her own magazine for young women, Fierce, which was a call to arms for women everywhere to discover their “authentic, wild, and powerful selves.”
In the midst of economic cutbacks, Tara lost her job as a magazine editor at CosmoGirl and needed inspiration. With her vast professional experience and interest in empowering women, what was going to be her next step? Travel.
After travelling to 15 different countries through Africa, Asia, and Europe interviewing many women under 30 making significant impacts on their local communities, it dawned on her.
“Somewhere along the way I began to wonder what would happen if these extraordinary young women from such diverse regions could pool their resources together and access a common collective of information and inspiration. Would their capabilities as leaders grow? Would their projects become stronger and more effective? Would they begin to work jointly and create even more powerful initiatives together?”
After returning The U.S. she began and doing research on how she might actually make this happen when she met Yale University student Sejal Hathi. Both of them had been independently wrestling with the same issues concerning women’s social impact around the globe and thus decided to join together.
Sejal had already founded Girls Helping Girls four years earlier at the age of 15 and was in the process of launching a program called “Sisters 4 Peace Network” which had like minded goals to those of Roberts’. It was only natural that the two meet in order discuss a future project together. They knew that their collective efforts would go a long way in connecting women from around the world and that this network of global positive change would succeed.
It wasn’t long before they decided on creating girltank. Their primary goal in the creation of girltank is “to serve as a resource center for uniting, mobilizing, and advancing young women change makers.” But how could they get the capital they needed to get started?
As the pieces began fall into place one by one, Roberts eventually came across Start-Up Chile.
Start-up Chile is a Chilean government sponsored initiative that invites entrepreneurs from the around the world to grow their startup companies in Chile. For six months, startups are invited to bootstrap their businesses with $40,000 in equity-free seed capital.
Moving to Santiago, Chile has admittedly been an exciting journey, remarks Roberts. She’s been able to mix the challenge of growing girltank while simultaneously experiencing a new culture.
Today, girltank spans six continents and over 30 countries empowering young women change makers in a wide variety of fields. As a source for young women from every region of the world, girltank continues to bring awareness to the fact that women in any culture or socio-economic class are capable of leading social change.
For now, Roberts continues to live in Chile enjoying the startup environment there, “One of the great things about being in Chile is that there is such an opportunity to do anything. You can really start projects here, and there is a need for them.”