Written by: Mica on August 3, 2020
Our relationship with the Co-op Academies actually began through Chelsea (our co-founders) first social enterprise Liverpool Girl Geeks. Chelsea created a ‘pitch deck’ for an idea around getting teenage girls together to learn tech and thought a corporate partner was vital to making this work. She approached someone who was working at one of the Co-op Academies on twitter and said “I have an idea I think you may like” and after a few emails, the pitch deck was sent and Co-op Academies were on board!
Co-op supported four iterations of our “Girl Geek academy” which was a 6 week course in the heart of Liverpool. For the first round, we had 90 applications in for just 15 places. Chelsea, Jo, Danielle and Gemma (from Co-op Academies) deliberated like X Factor judges and finally chose the 15 girls that would participate.
After training 60 teenage girls through 4 programmes we were overwhelmed by the feedback. A Parent even writing:
‘Delighted that my daughter had the opportunity to attend the academy. You even inspired her 76 year old nan! Go Girl Geeks!’
We knew that this was bigger than we thought it would be, girls really needed this kind of programme and were inspired to sign up. Chelsea and Jo started to talk with Co-op Academies about expanding their programme into Manchester, but with a name like Liverpool Girl Geeks, this wasn’t going to happen.
So that’s why in late 2017, InnovateHer was born, with a vision to take the Girl Geek Academy national. We started working with Co-op Academies across Greater Manchester by bringing the programme to them. One of the reasons we wanted to take this into school was so that we could see more diversity within our cohorts. Co-op Academies began introducing us to more inspiring female role models within their workspaces and these role models ended up being mentors on our programmes!
Co-op Academies have also been involved in our Member network, where we “Get industry ready for girls” Colleagues have hosted workshops and have attended networking events, sharing knowledge with other businesses that support our social enterprise. This month, Annette Joseph, Digital Delivery Manager is giving a talk about Diversity, Inclusion and supporting BAME communities to our network.
Thanks to Co-op Academies we have reached
60 girls Through Girl Geeks in 2016-17
60 girls through InnovateHer in 2018
90 girls through InnovateHer in 2019
100 girls through InnovateHer in 2020-21
7 co-op role models trained and deployed in schools!
In total, this is 320 girls!
Our partnership with the Co-op Academies is growing and we’re super excited to extend our support to students that are outside of the Greater Manchester area, looking at The Wirral, Stoke and Leeds for starters. Our new online platform and programme allows us to do this, and with the endorsement of the Co-op Academies brings new opportunities for InnovateHer, enabling us to create more impact across the U.K.
The investment from Co-op has transformed our business beyond what we anticipated and, its safe to say we are excited for what the future may bring!
Chelsea Slater: “Our partnership with the Co-op academies is growing and we’re super excited to extend our support to students that are outside of the Greater Manchester area, looking at The Wirral, Stoke and Leeds for starters. Our new online platform and programme allows us to do this, and with the endorsement of the Co-op Academies brings new opportunities for InnovateHer, enabling us to create more impact across the U.K. The investment from Co-op has transformed our business beyond what we anticipated and we hope that our partnership continues to develop into the future.”
Gail Lyon: “It’s been an absolute privilege and joy to work with the team at Innovate her. Equality and Education are core to the values of Co-op, which is why we’ve chose to support the various educational programmes that Innovate her have created, supporting 320 girls and young women developing the self belief to pursue careers in technology.”
To find out more about our partnerships, tap here.
Wanna know more about our mission? We got you!
Did you know that we hold free tech programmes for teens? Here’s more info!
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