For this week’s edition of FinanciElle “Statements”, I had the opportunity to Aisha Addo, Founder and CEO of Power to Girls Foundation and DriveHER .
Power to Girls Foundation is a not for profit organization that helps empower Afro-diaspora girls in the Greater Toronto Area and abroad. They are dedicated to providing positive mentorship, community interaction and recreational activities that inspire self-confidence, build self-esteem, friendships, nutritional health, and integrity in the hearts of all their girls. The purpose of the foundation is to help young girls discover their individual identity, and creative gifts by developing qualities that will help them become leaders and contributing members of society.
Power to Girls Foundation makes learning about life challenges a fun, informative and fulfilling experience for the girls involved.
DriveHER is a Toronto based technology organization for women run by women. It is a peer-to-peer ride-sharing app, which enables women riders to connect with women drivers.
Paolina: You’ve founded two organizations – a Not for Profit, Power to Girls, and a for Profit, DriveHER, what has been your hardest experience dealing with your business and finance, with both types of companies, and what did you learn?
With both Companies there is always the challenge of raising funds and accessing resources.
I think mainly with Power to Girls, once we landed our major funding it really helped us scale and grow rapidly.
I have also come to learn that with financial support, you are able to scale and expand your business to where is has the potential to be.
The lack of funds can also serve as a motivation for you to keep going or the reason why you fail.
Either way, business and finance go hand in hand; but, I believe your relationship with money determines your success or failure.
Paolina: What advice do you wish you had gotten about finance when you were first starting your business?
I was a bit more financially conscious when I started my business.
I would say my wishful advice would be more connected to my early years as a teenager. I wish someone took the time to explain the credit systems, how they work , why saving is important , the kind of investments I should be looking into and why. I think basic financial literacy would have been amazing.
I believe our financial habits are formed in these prime moments and knowing about them early on gives you some level of financial freedom.
Paolina: If you could give the girls that go through your Power to Girls programs advice on financial literacy what would it be?
My go to advice when it comes to financial literacy for girls is always “watch your spending” – know where you are spending every month, start saving early on and more importantly, be curious about investments and making your money work for you. Those are the key things that comes to mind when speaking to my girls. lastly, the funds on your credit card are not your own money; understand the credit system and make it work for you.