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Grant awarded to Chicago charity, Brave Initiatives, will empower young women through coding and community action.

Sage, a market leader in cloud accounting software, today pledged a $50,000 grant to a local Chicago charity at the launch of Sage Summit 2016, the world’s largest gathering of entrepreneurs and business builders. Brave Initiatives—a grassroots organization on a mission to empower girls throughout Chicago to be agents of change in their communities, was invited to the Summit at McCormick Place to receive the donation.

Brave Initiatives encourages young women to see themselves as capable coders and tune them into community issues that they might normally ignore or accept as status quo. The charity aims to motivate high school girls into being social change-makers, making them aware of the impact they can have in their communities.

The grant was presented by Sage Chief People Officer, Sandra Campopiano to Director of Business and Corporate Relations at Brave Initiatives, Jen Kamins, in front of an audience of nearly 15,000 at McCormick Place. Speaking after presenting the check, Campopiano said:

“Our commitment to being an inclusive organization is a top priority for Sage and we are starting that commitment right here in Chicago. We are honored that Sage Foundation can fund this brilliant, grassroots organization that wants more young women to seize the potential to change their lives, and the world around them, through coding and community action.

“We care deeply about supporting the needs of women and young people at Sage. We are committed as a business, to boost the number of women Sage hires into leadership and technology roles and through the work of Sage Foundation, we will also fund initiatives that train, mentor and advocate for women – just like Jen and her fantastic Brave Initiatives.”

The money donated will support BraveCamps over the next year, directly impacting the lives of girls, aged between 14 – 18. The 5-day BraveCamps are focused on solving meaningful community problems. Students are challenged to think through their life, identify relevant social issues, engage in design-thinking and build their own website to implement their idea.

Each camp hosts 20 girls – for free – and a packed schedule is supported by: 10 coding mentors, 5 design-thinking mentors, 5 team coaches, and 2 public speaking experts. Across the 5 days, the girls spend time: coding, design-thinking, public speaking and developing better self-efficacy and confidence.

Ideas that have already been generated by BraveCamps, include: Chicago Pollution Patrol – a site to provide educational information on how to help make Chicago a better sustainable energy user and Get Your Food On, an online game that encourages young people to build better eating habits.

Jen Kamins commented:

“This generous gift from Sage Foundation will enable us to further fulfill our mission. As a small, volunteer led organisation, it is heartening that a global business leader like Sage, knows the importance of stable, open communities and the role young girls can play in this.”

Sage Foundation works with charities, social enterprises and non-profit organizations around the world through its 2+2+2 model. Sage is committed to giving: 2% of employee time (5 days paid volunteering per year), 2% of free cash flow and 2 donated software licenses to eligible partners.

Additionally, partners will now also be supported by Sage Foundation through an open grant tender worth $1M. There will be further resource from a worldwide community-led fundraising challenge; powered by Sage customers, colleagues and partners – running together to raise money. Lastly, a comprehensive online mentoring and training programme will match talent to employment and entrepreneurial opportunity, initially for the military veteran community.

To read full press release, click here.