Ravina Anand and Michelle Kwok, two recently graduated Canadian students, launched FLIK, the first female-focused apprenticeship portal, allowing verified female talent to apprentice under innovative female founders and leaders across the world.
The mission of the Female Laboratory of Innovative Knowledge is to advance women’s economic participation and accelerate women-led ventures globally, the company said in a news release.
To date, FLIK has received more than 1,800 applicants from over 26 countries, and is rapidly growing each day. Apprentices gain experience in an industry they are passionate about while being mentored by an established female founder, while female founders, notoriously under-resourced, have access to ambitious talent helping them scale their businesses quickly, it said.
All programs can be completed virtually and remotely, according to the release.
During the challenging times of COVID-19, FLIK is supporting female-founded businesses with free access to the FLIK platform, giving businesses that sign up verified helping hands on their company at no cost.
“We recognize that female-founded businesses will be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and are amplifying the mission we have at FLIK, especially throughout this period,” the co-founders said.
In addition to championing female-founded businesses, FLIK is now focusing on connecting female entrepreneurs working to help those affected by COVID-19 with verified STEM students, bridging the gap between needed intellectual capital and valuable work experience during this critical time, the release said.
One of the female founders FLIK supports is Cassandra Hui, founder of Heal Mary; she connects COVID-19 patients to necessary global clinical trials. Hui was able to onboard verified STEM apprentices through FLIK to connect her patient base to 100 more trials around the world, according to the release.
“In times of crisis it is important that we come together and support one another. This is an opportunity for us to get creative and think outside the box to combat the issues we are collectively facing,” Kwok said in a statement. “FLIK gives apprentices a chance to learn practical skills, apply their knowledge, and learn more about entrepreneurship, while navigating a crisis period. FLIK is a safe space for women of all backgrounds to find opportunities that align with their values while interacting with new and emerging industries beyond their theoretical classroom education,” she said.
“With each apprenticeship, a young woman gets exposed to entrepreneurship a little earlier, a female-led business accelerates to success, and the needle is moved forward a little more,” Kwok added.
FLIK has seen a spike in students from universities such as Duke, Harvard, Oxford, Cornell, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UChicago, UToronto, UWaterloo, UBC, and others applying for FLIK to gain invaluable experiences alongside female founders in their newfound free time, the release noted.
Similarly, a wave of female founders have come on board to virtually take on these ambitious young women who train remotely for 10 hours per week or less in a meaningful project.
Founders include leaders in tech, AI, marketing, and more, such as Kim Kaupe (co-founder of The Superfan Company, Forbes 30 Under 30) and Anna Piñol (co-founder of Jupiter, Y-Combinator Alum).
Past projects apprentices have taken on include event management, UX UI design, web development, backend development, marketing, sales, business development, amongst many other areas, the release said.
“We recognize that women and girls are more vulnerable to downturns in social and economic situations,” Anand stated. “While students are working hard to build a career for themselves, many of them are having their summer opportunities rescinded due to COVID-19. FLIK helps female leaders discover these ambitious students who are keen on learning and growing to facilitate well-matched apprenticeships,” the Indo-Canadian added.
By combining the forces of media, social impact, and entrepreneurs, FLIK is passionate about inspiring and empowering young women to become the next wave of entrepreneurs and helping them navigate the barriers and challenges specific to women in business.
By allowing established founders to find amazing talent and scale their businesses quickly, FLIK is able to support women of all ages to be their own bosses. On the other side, 50 percent of Gen Z say they learn by doing and want to see a difference in traditional education and skills training, the release said.
With FLIK’s Apprenticeship Portal, there is a real, tangible solution.
“We look to you to join us in our mission to support diverse and underrepresented women across the globe and welcome readers to share FLIK with any women who would benefit,” the co-founders added.
More information about FLIK can be found by visiting www.weareflik.com.