Nike Foundation's Focus Area: Capacity Building, Gender / Women's Rights, Private Sector Development  

Nike Foundation's Involvement: President Sirleaf has committed to making the advancement of girls and young women a national priority by integrating girl-focused investments in the country’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. To build on this momentum, the Nike Foundation is partnering with the World Bank, the Government of Denmark and the Government of Liberia over three years to boost adolescent girls’ economic empowerment in Liberia. The pilot project will identify employment needs in the public and private sectors in Liberia and provide relevant skills and business development training to adolescent girls. The training offered to participants will focus on technical skills, as well as the integration of life-skills training to address some of the crucial barriers to the development of adolescent girls in Liberia.

The pilot project in Liberia is a part of the wider Adolescent Girls Initiative (AGI) within the World Bank. The AGI promotes the transition of adolescent girls from school to productive employment through innovative interventions that are tested, and then scaled-up or replicated if successful. The AGI was spearheaded by President Sirleaf, who signed on to undertake the initiative’s first pilot project, and by the Bank’s leadership, President Robert Zoellick and Managing Director Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The Nike Foundation provided the first funding for the initiative and has been a key partner, both in designing the Liberia project and in promoting the wider initiative. The Bank’s partners in the AGI are the governments of Afghanistan, Denmark, Liberia, Nepal, Norway, Rwanda, Southern Sudan, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the Nike Foundation and Cisco Systems.