Interview by Megan Foo, President of Women LEAD’s Hong Kong Chapter
Allison Grenney is a social entrepreneur who is incredibly passionate about empowering and educating girls’ globally. She is the founder and owner of EduKate, a socially conscious business that sells USA made tote bags to support girls’ education worldwide. From camp counselor and eventually head counselor, to girls varsity athletic coach in two sports at St. Mary’s Academy and the founder and owner of EduKate, Allison is consistent in her passion to lead girls into education and becoming a part of the solution to the world’s problems.
Megan Foo: What is your background?
Allison Grenney: I grew up in Denver, Colorado and went to the University of Denver. I majored in Environmental Science and International Studies. After college, I worked at an all girls school in their admissions and marketing department. I then traveled around the world where I was inspired to start EduKate. When I returned I worked at a charter school incubator while developing EduKate. I opened EduKate less then a year later.
Megan Foo: You were the Founder and Owner of EduKate, a socially conscious business that sold USA made products and the profits supported the scholarship and mentorship of girls in Guatemala, Tanzania and Cambodia. Can you tell us more about EduKate its impact?
Allison Grenney: Since its inception, EduKate has:
- Helped provide funding for the scholarship and mentorship for over 45 girls for a year
- Involved over 1000 people in the funding process of those girls
- I spoke at about 25 schools, community events and clubs educating people on the importance of investing in girls education
- Employed 10 women locally in Denver to manufacture the bags
Megan Foo: Why are you passionate about business and its potential to create positive change?
Allison Grenney: Business is an essential part of our culture that has been happening for hundreds of years. In the past 50 years business has gotten a bad name for itself because some business have been only motivated by profits and have lost sight of the “WHY”. Business has the opportunity to not just provide the solution to these desires but to also do it responsibly. Business is one of the best ways to create a win-win situation. You can simulate the economy through creating jobs and filling human needs with products that were made with the planet and people in mind.
Megan Foo: On a personal level, what does girls’ education mean to you?
Allison Grenney: Girls’ education means hope. Uneducated females are the most untapped resources on the globe. I believe the 77 million girls globally who are currently not in school are 77 million solutions waiting to be tapped. It is essential that we invest in girls’ education to create a brighter future for generations to come.
Megan Foo: Can you talk about one woman who has impacted you in your life?
Allison Grenney: There are many women who have had a huge impact on my life; I have been fortunate to have many mentors. My mom is the first one who comes to mind because she has taught me that anything is possible and to always dream big.
Megan Foo: What advice do you have for prospective social entrepreneurs?
Allison Grenney: Passion is everything… the path will never be direct and be open minded but stick to your values.