Stacey Edgar, founder of Global Girlfriend, made a name for herself by helping women in need help themselves.
Now she’s bringing her story to the campus of Eastern Illinois University as part of the School of Business’ Global Entrepreneurship Week activities. Members of the community are invited to join students, faculty and staff at this presentation, scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Lumpkin Hall, Room 2030. There is no admission charge.
Edgar founded Global Girlfriend in 2003 to help women worldwide gain economic security by creating a sustainable market for their products. Among the results was a fair-trade boutique offering a line of trend-setting, women-made, fair-trade products (including apparel, accessories and gifts).
According to the Global Girlfriend website, “many women try desperately to make a living selling their artisan-quality goods but find that they have little access to market opportunities. Through fair-trade practices, Global Girlfriend brings the work of these disadvantaged groups directly to (the buyer).
“Global Girlfriend believes in forming long-term partnerships that provide women a fair living wage with equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance and development strategies to foster prosperity and reduce poverty.”
Edgar is also the author of the companion book, “Global Girlfriends,” that examines her story, as well as her passionate argument for simple actions anyone can take to eliminate extreme poverty. The book is available in Eastern’s MLK Jr. Union Bookstore for those who would like to learn more about Edgar’s innovative business model before her visit. Purchased copies may also be brought to her talk on Nov. 12, to the autograph session scheduled to follow her presentation.
A passionate advocate for women and children, Edgar used her 10 years in social work practice with women and children as a springboard to her role as a social entrepreneur.
She was honored by the Microsoft Corporation as a recipient of the company's "Start Something Amazing" awards; by the Denver Business Journal as a 2007 "40 Under 40" Business Leader; featured in O, The Oprah Magazine; in Multichannel Merchant magazine as a "Maven of Merchandise,” and by Organic Style as one of its 2005 "Women with Organic Style."
Edgar travels regularly to build relationships with the women artisan cooperatives Global Girlfriend promotes and to design and hand-select fashion-forward products in order to bring the best in fair-trade fashion to Global Girlfriend's customers worldwide.
She is a sought-after speaker on the topics of women in the global economy, fair trade, sex trafficking, market and enterprise development, cause marketing, entrepreneurship and parlaying a passion into a career.
Edgar holds a master of social work degree from the University of Illinois and a bachelor of social work from Western Illinois University. She lives in Colorado with her family.