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8 min 1 sec

Social Enterprise Project Empowers Middle School Girls

Three women create a community to connect girls with caregivers while exploring topics about body image, STEM, and creativity. It’s not a charity; it’s a for-profit, social enterprise.
Events Kids Service Social Entrepreneurship Social Justice

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What It's About

Events that empower the next generation of women.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Organization & Coordination
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Knight’s tip for managing a social entrepreneurship model? If you don’t love it anymore, then change it or stop doing it. She thinks that something like this is supposed to nourish your soul. Knight followed her own advice after adjusting Girls To The Moon’s business model.

Fun Fact

At their first annual event, they gave everyone in attendance a single tulip bulb in a box. The box was decorated by their own girls with their names and the ‘Girls to the Moon’ rocket branding emblazoned on it. The idea behind it was to say thank you to everyone with a gift that would represent the beginning of their new business.

Notes from Chris

Episode 782
Knight Stivender is the Director of Marketing and Business Development. Buy other times she’s the CEO of Girls to the Moon, an LLC she started in 2014 with business partners Courtney Seiter and Courtenay Rogers.

Girls to the Moon connects middle school-aged girls between the ages of 10 to 14 with their caregivers while exploring topics like healthy friendships, body image, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), and innovation. The program encourages girls to be their best selves, impact their communities, and create a more inclusive culture.

It started as something that Knight and her partners wished had existed when they were that age. Knight is a single parent raising her daughter. She always thought how great it would be if there was a program out there to help other parents or caregivers connect with their daughters.

Her mind percolated with an assortment of ideas. After brainstorming with her partners, they settled on hosting an event. They modeled it after the many technology and marketing conferences they’d attended or spoken at in their day jobs (Knight and her partners all have backgrounds in business development, marketing, and technology).

They brought in speakers from a variety of fields and had them give TEDx-style talks. They also set up an interactive gallery of booths in the hallways during the downtimes when nobody was speaking on stage.

They named their annual event The Campference: a cross between a camp and a conference. More formal than a camp but less formal than a conference. Or we could call it the Goldilocks of events—the campference was just right.

GTTM raises over $50,000 annually for its girls and has led to smaller events taking place throughout the year.

How did Knight and her team pull this off?

They go about raising money a few different ways. Their annual Campference charges $45 per ticket, or you can purchase a two-pack for $70. They want to make sure they don’t price anyone out because Girls to the Moon is all-inclusive. They also offer scholarships for those who can’t pay.

In their first year, Girls to the Moon raised $40,000. Since then, they’ve managed to bump that number to over $50,000. Again, for now it’s a social enterprise project with all proceeds going back into their work. But they do hope to be able to transition to paying themselves soon.

Something that’s been hard:

"Sometimes I have to remember that we do this for good, for fun, on the side, with our friends and family—and that if we miss a deadline or take longer to get to a goal, etc., it isn't the end of the world. I am a very goal-oriented and competitive person, which I think is good, but I can be too hard on myself and on others around me if things aren't working the way my spreadsheets and task lists say they should work."

For now, Knight says she’s happy with the way things are going. The pressure to hit a revenue goal is gone which has allowed for a more relaxed atmosphere. It’s also left her with more time to focus on what matters most—sending girls to the moon.

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Girls to the Moon: Learn more about this growing movement over on Knight's website!

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"Build your mission, vision, and values before you do anything else. We did that early on, and they have been our guiding light."
—Knight Stivender #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau