Pitching Lightyears Project to Richard Branson at Necker Island

In May 2016, serial entrepreneur Gemma Manning, Founder and Managing Director of M&C and Gemstar, will join 28 leading entrepreneurs at Richard Branson’s private retreat, Necker Island, in the beautiful Caribbean.

Gemma will spend a week brainstorming with gamechangers from across the globe. She will pitch her non-profit business, Light Years, to Richard Branson. Light Years is a non-profit initiative that aims to transform the lives of young disadvantaged women in all aspects of their lives through a holistic and comprehensive educational program.

Although female entrepreneurs around the world are more widely recognised than ever before, there remain significant gaps in education and opportunities for girls and women. In Australia, disadvantaged girls and women – particularly those living in rural or regional areas – are far less likely to finish high school, gain qualifications and enter the workforce. And this is not just an issue confined to Australia. A recent OECD report highlights young disadvantaged women, sometime referred to as NEET – Not in Education, Employment or Training—is on the rise, and the gap between young men and young women widening.

Through the Light Years project, Gemma’s vision is to catapult young disadvantaged women and girls into a hopeful future.

This article was first published on Manning & Co Group.