Empowering girls with arts and entrepreneurship

Alison Tanker, founding director of Tigress, leads an empowerment workshop for teen girls at BAYarts.

Local organization Tigress is on a quest to empower teen girls to become confident, creative and action-oriented leaders who can change the world.

A Westlake native, I founded this social enterprise after several compelling experiences reinforced how entrepreneurship and the creative arts are unique tools that empower women and lead to social change. It was especially evident while I was living in Latin America, the Caribbean and the UK supporting the growth of micro-entrepreneurs and local organizations founded by Bono of U2, Richard Branson and Ashoka Fellows.

In these experiences, entrepreneurship allowed the women to lift themselves out of poverty, solve community problems and create jobs for other people. As well, the creative arts, like dance, drama, music and poetry gave women the opportunity to find their voices, discover their passions and use their creative mindset to make a positive impact in the community.

Both entrepreneurship and the creative arts were fostering the skill-set that taught these women how to transform their ideas into action. By gaining this skill-set, the women began to have more confidence, self-awareness and influence over their futures.

In order to continue empowering young women in this way, I returned to Cleveland to launch Tigress. Our program uses entrepreneurship projects and creative arts activities to give teen girls the skill-set to turn their ideas into action and discover more about their strengths, passions and future goals.

Any girl interested in unleashing her creativity, taking action and making a difference can look into our upcoming workshops at tigresseffect.org.

Alison Tanker

Social Entrepreneur and Founding Director of Tigress, a Cleveland-based social enterprise that empowers young female change-makers through entrepreneurship and creative arts. Alison is originally from Westlake but has spent the past several years living and working internationally in the UK, Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Volume 6, Issue 14, Posted 10:03 AM, 07.08.2014