Konexio’s executive director and co-founder, Jean Guo, was honored for her work economically empowering women through Konexio! Each year, The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) awards the World of Difference prize to recognize the power every individual has to make a change for women’s empowerment in the world. TIAW chose Jean, and Konexio, for our programs’ success in enabling women to earn a livelihood for themselves and develop financial security, and for Jean’s resilience as a female founder.
Jean launched Konexio in 2016 to bridge the digital divide for vulnerable people, especially women and refugees. She was inspired to found Konexio by her experience as a public health researcher in migrant and refugee communities. An immigrant herself, Jean recognized there the same patterns of economic vulnerability that she and her single mother experienced after migrating to the United States from China: that lack of work precluded integration and self-reliance, and that a huge segment of workers, especially women, were systematically excluded from the job market.
Konexio’s programs in France, Malawi, Kenya, and Jordan empower vulnerable communities to rise to their full potential by gaining freelancing skills to access the digital job market. Digital freelancing increases vulnerable women’s capacity to generate income in a safe environment, giving them control over what volume of work to handle and when. Gahizi, a graduate from the DIP program in Malawi, says: “The same day I finished (the program) I got a job… my life changed completely. Now I feel confident and empowered, and I have hope for the future.”
We are extremely proud of Jean’s work and grateful for TIAW’s recognition of her inspirational leadership. Jean’s work has empowered thousands of women in four countries to participate in the digital economy to date, and is on track to impact 3x more by 2023.