Aisha Addo is a young spirited woman who wears many hats. She’s an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Motivator, Speaker and Consultant. Aisha thrives on working to make the world a better place for women. Although a graduate in Business Administration-Accounting, her true passion and dedication lie in ensuring girls around the world are provided with the guidance and resources that help them identify their true purpose and calling to reach their full potential.
She founded Power To Girls Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers young girls the mentors and role models that were absent during her youth. As a facilitator and director of Power To Girls, Aisha uses her personal experiences and knowledge to create safe and engaging spaces for the girls she works with.
She is also a recipient of the Young Black and Gifted Award for Community Service and was named a Black Diversity Group Role Model and One of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and among the 150 Black Women making history in Toronto.
Her latest venture DriveHER, is a ride-sharing service for women by women, furthering her cause in her continuing journey to empower and protect women. The platform generally empowers more women to get behind the wheel as drivers while building a sense of safety for its riders. This women-only rider and driver service has a super smooth interface, offers pre-scheduled rides, emergency buttons and rigorously screened drivers. According to Aisha, her ride-sharing service eliminates a lot of the discomfort women may feel using existing platforms and provides drivers and passengers a sense of community unmatched by other apps.
As part of our new series which seeks to shed a light on some of the amazing Ghanaians doing immensely well in the global tech space, we caught up with Aisha for a quick interview. Enjoy!!
Tell us about yourself and what you do:
I am Aisha Addo and my focus is on creating safe spaces for girls and women. I get the pleasure of running 2 companies that promote those values. One is Power to Girls Foundation which is an NGO that provides mentorship, leadership and personal development programs and resources to young marginalized girls. We are operating in both Canada and Ghana. The second is a tech-enabled platform that creates a safe space for women by connecting them to female drivers.
It is no secret that you are an avid promoter of initiatives that empower and defend women; what’s the background story to this journey?
I realized at an earlier age, that I was capable of creating change and it was easier to relate it to women. Mainly because I understand the issues that women and girls face in different stages of their lives. I also happen to be a woman. As a result, everything that I do is directly related to ensuring that the girls and women that come after me see themselves represented and are equipped to amplify their voices and the ones that come after them.
Aisha and some of the girls at Power to Girls Foundation (source: Power to Girls)
What are some of the greatest milestones you’ve achieved so far with the Power to Girls Foundation?
Through Power to Girls we have seen girls gain a deeper understanding of self, we have seen girls graduate with honors who were told they weren’t capable of doing so. One of our greatest milestones to date is being able to expand our work into more schools across Toronto and also being able to train facilitators that in turn go back out into the community to deliver the workshops and impact more girls.
Tell us about your most recent venture, DriveHER. How did it all begin, and how has the reception been so far?
DriveHER was coined as a result of the gap within the transportation sector and women’s safety and how other services responded to the safety and concerns of their female passengers. I set out to create a safe space for these women because I saw myself reflected in every one of them and their stories. DriveHER is still growing and going through its growing pains however our target audience has embraced the solution and they keep reminding us of why we started DriveHER in the first place.
There are several women in technology today but a majority still shy away from the tech space; what would you say to such women if you had the opportunity to address them?
The first thing I would say is to be confident in your ability to deliver. Tech does not equal innovation and if your solution to the pressing issues of society involves technology then embrace and believe in yourself and your capabilities. Do not allow the unknown to take up too much space in your head. You are capable, and you are worthy of being in every space you find yourself in.
If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
Make the world run on a matriarchal society
What does a typical day in the life of Aisha Addo look like?
Every day is different however, after centering myself I put together a list of what I want to accomplish that day or sometimes week. And I start tackling my daily deliverables based on priority and relevance to my next move. On days that I have a speaking engagement, I prepare for it, show up and show out. One of the most important lessons I have learned so far is to ensure that in whatever you are doing you are enjoying the process and you are being present.
One thing we’re passionate about at Techpreneur Magazine is encouraging young African entrepreneurs in the diaspora to give back to the continent. Are you currently working on any projects that empower young women back home?
Absolutely; one of my values is also ensuring that my work expands across the continent and touches the people that groomed and made me who I am today. We are currently looking for facilitators for some of our Ghana projects for Power to Girls but also, will be announcing some collaborations and more projects soon. I also provide mentorship for young women entrepreneurs on the continent.
Tell us one interesting fact about Aisha Addo no one knows about:
I enjoy dancing, traveling and problem-solving. I am multifaceted and I enjoy the simple things of life. My happy place is always spending time with my friends and family.
Lastly, what should we look forward to from Aisha, Power to Girls Foundation and DriveHER in the next 3 years?
We have some amazing things planned for both Power to Girls and DriveHER over the next couple of years. One thing for sure though is to watch out for Aisha Addo because she is about to take AFRICA by storm.