The Global Mentor

Ann Francke is helping women in North Carolina help women around the world

Don't mistake Ann Francke for only being the founder of the successful Charlotte-based online shopping site for natural beauty products, Francke, who speaks Russian and German and holds an MBA from Columbia, has managed global brands including Max Factor and Pampers for more than twenty years. This fall, the savvy entrepreneur is launching a global mentoring project that will use technology and social media to help women in developing countries. Through a partnership with Cherie Blair (former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife) and Google, Francke plans to use the Internet to connect aspiring female entrepreneurs in developing countries with women who have already excelled in similar fields in developed countries.
"People have increasingly recognized that if you want to help the developing countries, you give the money to the girls," says Francke. "Women are lacking access to resources, training, and appropriate mentors and networks in their areas. This will change that." This fall a nine-month test market will be launched with protégées in Kenya, Israel, and Palestinian territories and mentors in the United States, including women from the North Carolina Conference for Women, and the United Kingdom. If all goes well, the program will expand to encompass more women in more countries.
Categories: Feature, The Buzz