Page 1

Think about the first time someone recognized in you a spark, a talent you hadn’t yet seen in yourself. Remember the way your heart soared when you felt the power of what you could do and be. At BeadforLife, we help women living in extreme poverty feel that feeling by turning their spark into a fire of purpose. We provide entrepreneurial training programs for women living in extreme poverty. Some women earn money making beaded jewelry out of recycled paper and use their earnings to start businesses. Others simply receive the training on how to start small and launch local businesses. All of them make a new life—one where they lift themselves and their families out of poverty for good. And it all starts with a spark.

DEAR FRIENDS: This year has been a year of transformation and change. Over the past 11 years, BeadforLife has not only produced beautiful beads, but most importantly, has created an innovative entrepreneurial training model for the women whom we serve. This training equips women who are living in extreme poverty with the knowledge and confidence they need to become small business owners. We have helped thousands of people throughout Uganda leave poverty forever. This year, we announced that we plan to reach one million women around the world by 2027, so that they will no longer live in poverty. For the first time in the history of BeadforLife, we launched a large-scale fundraising initiative. The Ignite One Million Campaign is raising the funds necessary to pilot and scale our Street Business School business training program to reach one million women. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received from around the world as we prepare to expand our impact and reach more women around the globe. You have shown us that you not only believe in the work that we do, you believe in the power of women everywhere. Thank you for being a part of our circle and for your continued support as we embark on this next stage of our evolution to expand our impact. Sincerely,

The Board of Directors Ginny Jordan • President & Co-founder

Michael Brady • Lela Barker • Chuck Wilson • Torkin Wakefield • Devin Hibbard Treasurer



Director & Co-founder

Executive Director & Co-founder

THE POWER OF ENTREPRENEURIAL TRAINING Since the beginning, BeadforLife has believed that the way out of poverty for millions of women is through the creation of small businesses. This has been our guiding philosophy, allowing us to provide relevant business training to the women in our programs so that when they graduate they are business owners. They have the ability to sustain into the future so that they can stop the cycle of poverty forever. We have enrolled thousands of women in our programs, creating lasting change in communities throughout Uganda. Our graduates are leaders in their communities, operating businesses ranging from produce stands to shoe stores. Some of our graduates have even opened schools in their communities, providing more opportunities for future generations.

MEET SYLVIA Before joining BeadforLife, Sylvia faced a very difficult existence. She was raised by an aunt after her mother died, and was forced to drop out of school because of the lack of school fees. Within two years she was married off, and soon became pregnant. In order to support her infant daughter, she started making samosas and selling them on the street, but earned only 2000 shillings a day - about 80 cents. Today, Sylvia runs not one, but two businesses in different parts of town. These two businesses generate around $22 a week in profits, and Sylvia has over $220 saved in the bank. Sylvia never imagined her life could look so different when she joined BeadforLife. Confidence

and focus are the two words Sylvia uses to talk about what she learned in BeadforLife’s entrepreneurial training that helped her transform her life. When Syliva stopped by the office in Uganda to tell the staff about her big success at a recent event, she proudly stated that she had her pricing right (slightly lower than the competition), and she marketed her products by sending assistants into the crowd. When asked how much she made, she clarified “net or profit?”, showcasing her understanding of accounting principles. Here is a savvy business woman! She made $43 in profit from the three-day event.

STREET BUSINESS SCHOOL Street Business School Uganda continues to thrive. In 2015 more women were reached through the Street Business School programs than all of our other programs combined. Through this innovative entrepreneurial training model, women are able to gain the confidence and skills they need to create self-sustaining small businesses. This sixmonth program allows us to provide training in a short and efficient manner, while having incredible impact. Women are seeing an average increase in income of 54%, with the poorest members seeing their incomes go up by an average of 531%.

MEET SCOVIA Scovia was the youngest of ten children. Her parents died when she was only eight, and she grew up with her sister. Scovia only received a third grade education because after her parents died there was no one to continue paying her school fees. She moved to the city with her sister and at 13 years old she met her husband. She started living with this man and within a year she gave birth to her son. Her life was challenging until she attended the Street Business School and everything changed for the better. One particular training changed Scovia’s perspective. That particular training day agenda began with the definition of capital - the inputs needed for a successful venture - and the women were reminded that their most important capital was themselves - their health, cleverness and hard work. One by one, the Street Business school coaches held up items the women no

longer use that they had been asked to bring from home. How much could you sell an old saucepan for? Maybe $2. Then the coaches began to talk about starting small, and Scovia listened hard. She had experience cooking but didn’t have the money for a big restaurant. Why couldn’t she begin very small? That weekend, Scovia sold several personal items and borrowed a bit of money from a friend. She was able to assemble $8, and with that, Scovia went to the local market where she purchased a cow head, some cassava, and a lump of charcoal. She took a saucepan from home and boiled the cow’s head to make a simple stew, which she sold on the roadside. From that humble beginning, she grew reinvesting in her business as she accumulated small profits. Scovia’s restaurant continues to thrive and she is now able to save $3 in profits each day.

GLOBAL EXPANSION TO IGNITE 1 MILLION In 2015, BeadforLife launched the Global Expansion of the Street Business School in order to reach one million women worldwide by 2027. Through partnerships with organizations around the globe, BeadforLife’s Street Business School model will be tailored to new cultures and continents in order to help women create small businesses and stop the cycle of poverty forever. The first phase of the expansion involved three partner organizations who tailored the Street Business School model to their local context in order to incorporate this unique entrepreneurial training into their existing programs. Through these partners, an additional 102 women received Street Business School training.

THE GLOBAL EXPANSION PLAN Phase 1: Validate Street Business School model through research and impact measurement, create a Train-the-Trainer model, and teach the Street Business School model to 12 - 20 organizations in three different regions.



Phase 2: Launch a Global Street Business School that is rigorously evaluated, globally relevant and that has a robust pathway for rapid expansion.


Use expertise gained from Phase 1 to inform the scaling strategy, refine the Train-the-Trainer model and create a pipeline and marketplace for the delivery of the Street Business School program.


Train and support organizations around the world to directly reach one million women by 2027.


Support a network of Centers of Excellence around the world to assist in training and certification on the Street Business School model.

Celebrate the global achievement of empowering one million women as independent entrepreneurs!


MEET BECKA OF THE BULOGA WOMEN’S GROUP, A GLOBAL EXPANSION PARTNER Becka is a single mother of five vivacious young women. She moved to a new village when her husband forced her to leave because she failed to give birth to a son. She was fortunate that someone heard her story and temporarily gave her a house and land to grow food on while she got settled. Her house is small, with a mud floor and tin roof. Two years after her move, Becka lived without a business or any other source of income. Her daughters were not regularly in school, as she was unable to

afford school supplies and other school requirements. Her eldest daughter ended up as a teenage mother by an older man. Life began to change when Becka attended the Street Business School training with the Bulogo Women’s Group. After attending the training, Becka started her first business of selling cooking oil in the village. From her profits, she added new product offerings to her business including: sugar, pieces of soap, biscuits, curry powder sachets, match boxes, and other items. Soon she began selling crops such as maize, ground nuts, and sweet

bananas. She also began poultry farming to increase her income. Becka runs her businesses from her home. The retail shop is squeezed within her house and operates through a small window. She also sets out a stool in her compound for her sweet banana business each day. Becka is just one of the first of the one million women who will receive Street Business School training, delivered by partner organizations, allowing them to transform their lives.

INCOME GENERATION This year, we continued providing income generating opportunities and training to women making beads. We reached over 300 women through this program, providing them with income so that they can invest in their families and their burgeoning businesses. While in the program, women not only gained access to income, they also received business training similar to the Street Business School. Our goal is that they opened at least one business before they graduate from BeadforLife.

GIRLS EDUCATION Through our Girls Education program, dozens of bright young students were able to gain access to the education they deserve. This next generation of entrepreneurs also took part in our annual Empowerment Camp, where they are able to come together for three days to learn life skills that will help them prepare to take on any challenges they may face. This year, they participated in several business focused sessions to spark their creativity and confidence.

BEADFORLIFE IN THE WORLD This year, BeadforLife representatives were invited to take part in conferences around the world and speak about global poverty issues at events, festivals and universities. BeadforLife staff and executives made appearances and spoke at the Success Summit, Skoll World Forum, and Global Citizen Festival. This fall, at an annual Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs conference, BeadforLife’s training programs will be presented as a case study on poverty eradication. Through all of these engagements, we were able to share our success stories and inspire other organizations and individuals in the fight to end extreme poverty. lf you are hosting a conference or event at which you would like us to speak, please drop us a line at info@beadforlife.org. Photo credit C. Steinberg

A DIFFERENT WORLD TODAY When BeadforLife began in 2004, the idea of supporting women in the global south by purchasing their products was something fresh and exciting. When we brought paper beads from Uganda to the United States, people were amazed at the stories and the beauty of the beads. They were inspired to take action and help those in need by doing something simple – purchasing a bangle or a necklace. Over the last 11 years, we’ve watched as hundreds of organizations around the world have been inspired to take action in much the same way. Dozens of jewelry companies now sell Ugandan paper beads with pride. More families are now able to feed their families and stop the cycle of poverty. One person can make a difference and one organization can inspire many more.

The First BeadforLife Bead Party in 2004. Photo Credit C. Steinberg


Many people think of us as only a bead program. In fact, BeadforLife is a model of transformative poverty eradication through entrepreneurial training - both for the hundreds of women who make beaded jewelry in our program, and for the thousands who receive business training in our Street Business School. For the past 3 years, we have been in a strategic evolution to allow us to serve the greatest number of women in the most efficient way. Our financial statements reflect this evolution.


Program-Related Sales*





Donations received from individuals, Foundations & Corporations (B)







Other (Rental Income, Interest Income, Investment Gain & Loss)

What you will see in these financials is:

Program Services

* We have begun to diversify revenue streams, including developing our fundraising capacity which is already realizing significant gains. (B)

July 2013 – June 2014

Donations: Pledges to be Received (B)

In the numbers here you will see that BeadforLife is in many ways a hybrid organization - both an effective poverty development organization, and a product sales business which includes significant earned revenue, and related business expenses. We have made strategic decisions in the past that give us a healthy balance sheet and have allowed us to invest some of our retained earnings in the global expansion of our Street Business School to help a million women lift their families out of poverty.

* For the past two years, we have invested in our global expansion and revenue diversification creating negative change in our net assets as we spend down some of our reserves. We anticipate this will continue for the coming 2-3 years. (A)

July 2014 – June 2015

TOTAL REVENUE *Sale of beads and shea products

EXPENDITURES Cost of Goods Sold (Product purchases)





Fundraising (B)



General & Administrative



TOTAL EXPENDITURES Change in Net Assets (A) Total Net Assets as of June 30th









Fundraising, 4% (B) General & administrative, 14%

Donations: pledges to be received 18% (B)

Funded Uganda community development projects, 14%

Paid directly to BeadforLife members, 7%

Donations received from individuals, foundations & corporations 11% (B)

Grants made to other organizations 1%

Other (rental income, interest income, investment gain & loss) 4%

Program: educate & engage people worldwide about extreme poverty, 30% Create worldwide markets for the products produced by our BeadforLife members, 30%

Program related sales, 67%

BeadforLife is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in the US, ID#20-1683139; and a registered International Non-Governmental Organization in Uganda. For a complete audited set of financial statements or a copy of our IRS Form 990, contact Anne Green at anne@beadforlife.org.

OUR GROWING CIRCLE OF SUPPORTERS This year, we watched as our circle of supporters continued to grow and people began to engage with BeadforLife in new ways. For the first time, BeadforLife supporters joined a global fundraising committee and involved their networks and communities in the fight to end poverty. New organizations and individuals got involved with BeadforLife by making contributions to our Ignite One Million campaign and supporting the work we do.

THANK YOU DONORS AND PARTNERS This year, many people invested in BeadforLife, providing the fuel to allow women to ignite their potential and transform their lives. If every one of us contributes our spark, together we will create a mighty blaze that will eradicate poverty forever.

BLAZE Peggy Phelps

BONFIRE The Judith Haskell Brewer Fund of the Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia Georgia E. Welles Watson Family Foundation

CAMPFIRE Bead Society of Greater Chicago Catherine Thoma

Circle of Sisterhood Foundation Evelyn M. Pharr Jennifer Miller Marion Taylor Orion Health Robin Seiz David Friedman & Tirzah Firestone William McFarland

HEARTH Alfalfa’s Boulder Alice Schmitz Charles E & Carol J Miller Family Fund Countess Isabelle D’Ornano David Ensign & Michael Mills

Denise Rees Diocese of East Carolina Elizabeth Campbell Ernest Bogen Exelon Foundation Hope & Deke Welles Jennifer Sheffield Jennifer Woods Tierney Joanna Slonecka & Hank McKinnell Jolene Black Bonnet Julie & Chuck King Karsten & Eva Witt Larsen Kathy Mangum Kim Fischer Lee Sh Mary Barger

Boots & Dick Tolsdorf Paul DeBruce Paula Luff Rhonda Bushmaker Richard & Lynnaea Paine Robyn & Jeffrey Rothschild Rotary Club of Coronado Foundation Ryan & Alisha Boykin Sally Goodwin Stan Root Sylvia Martinez The Jorgensen Foundation Ursuline Academy of Dallas Valassis Whitney Zimmerman


Centennial Bank Charles Steinberg & Torkin Wakefield Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails

First Presbyterian Church Geri Mitchell-Brown IBM Employee Charitable Contributions James Steyaart Jayne Sullivan Jeffrey & Maud Welles Judith Cogen Judy Christoff Julie & Roger Pielke June Blue JustGive.org Kathy Bolhous Kristin Burdick Linda & Fred Milanovich Marchant Moore Marilyn Harding NELCO Sheila Todd Susan Combs, Combs & Co. Toledo Community Foundation Inc.

Tom Huth TRUiST Unitarian Universalist Church of the North Hills Wendy Michell

SPARKLERS Alecia & Peter McClure Alexandra Cock & Richard Esteb Beverly Irons Black Pepper Pho, LLC Carl Hedlund Charlotte Shifrin Cheryl Friday Christie Berrier Covidien Employee Giving Cynthia Klingensmith Denise Flaherty Douglas Bayer

Elizabeth Sak James & Bonita Varley James Booker James Gerstle James Kaufman Jane Hoffman Janell Schneider Jean White Joan Selby Kaci Hall Karen Jain Kenneth Weast Kerry Gilmartin Kevin & Melissa Wilson Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church Larue Perryman Michael Hogan

Morgan Cox Nathan Evans Peter Bowman Robert J. Floyd Robert Pelz Jr Susan Maxwell Tiffany Anderson Westfall Creative

*Contributions are recognized based on the gift received this fiscal year, and do not reflect the full pledged amount.

PLEDGES RECEIVED IN THE 2014-2015 FISCAL YEAR: Darin Layman Devin Hibbard & Mark Jordahl Ginny Jordan James and Heidi Hole Jennifer Miller Marion Taylor Moxie Foundation Robin Seiz Ruth Kerr The Hansen Family


Our work is made possible by the support and generosity of caring citizens around the globe. Here are 5 ways you can get involved in the eradication of extreme poverty:


Host a Marketplace here and change lives: When you host a Marketplace, we provide all the products, support and educational materials you need at no cost. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it changes lives.


Give the gift that gives twice: Our handmade recycled-paper jewelry, shea butter products, colorful baskets and more make earthy chic, affordable gifts—and they empower women half a world away.


Make a gift to help us reach more women with our transformative entrepreneurial training programs. Donations can be made in honor of a friend or loved one, and are taxdeductible to the extent of the law.


BeadforLife - North America 2336 Canyon Blvd. Ste 201 Boulder, CO 80302 303-554-5901 info@beadforlife.org

Raise awareness and education about extreme poverty through our free, interactive online curriculum.

BeadforLife - Uganda 23 Mpanga Close Bugolobi, Kampala, Uganda +256 414 577 891




Volunteer, introduce us to potential media or corporate partners, sign up for e-updates, carry our products, like us on Facebook, follow us, tweet us, write about us, refer a store in your town to become a wholesale partner and more.



These are just a few of the publications and programs that have recognized our work to eradicate extreme poverty.

Ignite Potential End Poverty

www.beadforli fe.org

Profile for Bead For Life

Beadforlife 2015 Annual Report  

Beadforlife 2015 Annual Report