“I thought I would be aloof in the foreign land. I see I will be home far from home”
These were Jacqueline Nyangweso’s warm words as she prepared to fly to the United States for the first time. Jacqueline owns a growing business in Kenya and is the award recipient for the prestigious Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentorship Partnership. The Fortune/U.S. State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership connects talented, emerging women leaders from all over the world, who are between the ages of 25-43, with members of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Leaders for a month-long program. S’well CEO and one of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, Sarah Kauss had the pleasure of mentoring Jacqueline. The S’well team welcomed her into our home for the first two weeks in May, and she quickly became part of the S’well family.
Jacqueline is on a mission to change the lives of women all over Kenya with her microfinance business, Step & Fly. Step & Fly offers small loans to women so they can start their own businesses. She’s created a unique and successful system that includes small-business training and as a result, she boasts a 95% return rate. Through this program, she has helped single and widowed mothers to create businesses that generate enough income to allow them to feed and educate their children.
Having Jacqueline in our office has taught us that there are a lot of commonalities between Step & Fly and S’well. We have learned that businesses face the same challenges every day, whether you are a water bottle company from New York or a microfinance institution from Kenya.
S’well was able to support Jacqueline in her efforts to learn more about social media platforms, public speaking, data tracking applications, and human resources. But we had some fun along the way, as well. Our team was there with Jacqueline as she experienced her first New York slice, bagels, and even guacamole!
Jacqueline has definitely found her home away from home here at S’well. We just couldn’t resist her positive energy and addictive smile. We’ve learned so much about compassion and community while listening to her tell stories of her business. Even though our new family member is returning back to Kenya, she will always have a place to call home here at S’well.
Check out Step & Fly’s Facebook and Twitter pages and you can read more info about Step & Fly here.