Sometimes, life can seem overwhelming, especially given all the items on a modern woman’s daily to-do list. When I reach that point of declaring to anyone who’ll listen, “Give me a break!” I take a moment to breathe, understand how lucky I am and that my troubles are just first-world problems that are easily fixable.
But for many women throughout the world, their problems involve much more life-affecting unease, like where their next meal will come from, how to escape poverty and the best way to protect and educate their children. A little perspective about my own life goes a long way. That’s why I routinely donate to charities and philanthropic organizations that work to better the lives of women the world over.
Today, reflect on your own blessings, and consider contributing—even if it’s a small amount or a few hours of your time—to a worthy cause that’s close to your heart.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: More Than 150 Million
According to global nonprofit Heifer International, women are responsible for producing about 80 percent of the developing world’s food, yet women make up 70 percent of the world’s poor. Often overlooked by government programs and denied a proper education, many rural women are left feeling powerless to escape this cycle of poverty.
But Heifer International is one of those fantastic charities working to change that, noting that by providing women farmers with the same resources as men, an additional 150 million people throughout the world would have full bellies.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Mikaila Ulmer, Founder and CEO of Me & The Bees Lemonade
Today’s Woman to Watch is doing her part to make a positive difference in the world, and with some tasty results. Her name is Mikaila Ulmer and she’s the brains behind the oh-so-delicious beverage Me & The Bees Lemonade.
From the very beginning, Mikaila pledged to invest a portion of her profits into organizations fighting to save the honeybees. As such, Mikaila collaborates with Heifer International to give the gift of honeybees to needy families, who can turn these buzzing communities into viable moneymakers. Families get a boost of income from sales of honey, wax and pollen, and their crops are stimulated through pollination, which then increases their production in a sustainable, eco-friendly way.
Sounds like Mikaila is a pretty smart businesswoman, right? But guess what. This enterprising young lady is only 11 years old! And she was just 4 when, encouraged by her family to create a product for a kids’ business competition and a citywide lemonade day, she got to brainstorming her business idea. Having recently been stung twice by bees (Ouch!) and been sent her great-granny’s 1940s family cookbook, which included a recipe for flaxseed lemonade, Mikaila was inspired, and thus, Me & The Bees Lemonade, sweetened with local honey, was born.
Mikaila has more than a few remarkable characteristics. Obviously, she loves bees. That’s why she spends much of her free time leading workshops on how to save the honeybees, and participating in social-entrepreneurship panels. She’s also an incredibly hard worker, and as a self-described social entrepreneur, bee ambassador, educator and student, she’s just getting started.
Mikaila’s lemonade company became a hit on national television when she made a pitch on entrepreneurial-focused reality show Shark Tank. CEO of FUBU Daymond John invested, and Me & The Bees Lemonade has been buzzing ever since.
Now, Me & The Bees offers a variety of flavors to accompany fresh-squeezed lemon juice, local honey and flaxseed, including ginger and prickly pear, and all the company’s lemonades are buzzing off the shelves of international organic retailer Whole Foods Market.
A flourishing entrepreneur by age 11, Mikaila is a living example that it doesn’t matter how experienced you are. If you have passion and a mighty-fine idea—and can overcome a few stings here and there—you’re bound for some sweet success!
QUITE THE QUOTE
With Mikaila Ulmer’s story in mind, today’s quote is from actress Hailee Steinfeld, who said:
“I think anyone with a voice should feel empowered to use it to affect change.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.