Female Founders Presents is a side project of Phoebe Gormley's. Phoebe is a 23 year old entrepreneur, her business, Gormley & Gamble is the first women’s only tailor in the history of Savile Row. In 2017 she was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 for her contribution to the Arts and Marie Claire's Woman of the Future.
As a child, Phoebe first got involved with charity work when she organised garden fetes in her parent's back yard, raising a few hundred pounds each time (which seemed like a lot to a 12 year old) for charities specialising in children with disabilities. She has continued to volunteer throughout her life including raising money for a Nepalese local charity by reaching Everest Base Camp at age 17.
She came up with the notion of Female Founders's Present when she was so rooted in the 'old boys club' of Savile Row and wanted to surround herself with more women, and particularly entrepreneurs. When she saw how amazing the products and brands were she wanted to share them with her clients, friends and family, and decided it'd be best in a public form which raised money for charity too.
All the exhibitor's are so lucky to have had opportunities and freedom that have enabled us to set up successful businesses. This event will enable us to pass a different kind of opportunity forward to women in the developing world who are survivors of war trying to rebuild their lives including providing micro-loands to help them start their own businesses too. WFW's Founder - Zainab's incredible story is on the right.
Zainab Salbi is the founder and Women for Women International.
She moved to the United States at the age of 19. Salbi's experience with the Iran–Iraq War sensitized her to the plight of women in war worldwide. She has written and spoken extensively on the use of rape and other forms of violence against women during war.
In the early 1990s, Zainab and her husband cut-short their honeymoon to volunteer in the now infamous rape and concentration camps. They launched an organisation that created "sister-to-sister" connections between sponsors in the United States and women survivors of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were greeted with an overwhelming response.
They returned to the United States and started Women for Women International with a shoestring budget and a small team of dedicated volunteers. Since 1993, Women for Women International has supported women survivors of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Kosovo, Nigeria, Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan.
Under Salbi's tenure as the CEO of Women for Women International, the organisation reached more than 400,000 women in eight conflict areas, distributed more than $100 million in direct aid and microcredit loans, trained thousands of women in rights awareness, and helped thousands more to start their own small businesses.