Our Mission:

Creating sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle
of exchange that enriches everyone.

We Believe:
  • Everyone has the power and potential to transform their life.
  • Regardless of where you were born or what challenges you have faced, you can find your strength and rise.
  • Women living in poverty can find their spark, and release their power on the world.

We are mentors and coaches, partnering with smart but impoverished women to help them get the skills and confidence they need to be savvy entrepreneurs. Business training. Check. Self-generated earning opportunities. Check. Holistic support. Check.

Does it work? Absolutely. Learn about our impact.

Our Story


Ten years ago, three sassy women founded BeadforLife after a chance encounter opened their hearts and sparked their imagination. Torkin Wakefield, Ginny Jordan, and Devin Hibbard met Millie Grace Akena while walking through a crowded Ugandan slum. Millie was sitting on the ground outside of her mud home, rolling small strings of paper into colorful paper beads in the sweltering sun. She caught their eye, and they stopped to learn more about this intriguing woman.

While Millie's story was heartbreaking, she held onto hope, determined to create a better future for her children. She found joy in transforming recycled paper into striking paper bead necklaces. The problem? No one had the money to buy the paper bead jewelry.

Torkin, Ginny, and Devin bought a few necklaces and immediately attracted the attention of other would-be bead-wearers in Uganda. The months that followed changed the lives of everyone involved. Paper bead jewelry was brought back to the United States and women began opening their hearts and their homes to Ugandan women half a world away.



We Were Born

Paper bead jewelry was only the beginning. We could have stayed the course, working with one group of women to create fair trade products that we could sell for them in the U.S. market - but we had bigger dreams. We created an entrepreneurial business training program, giving women living in poverty the skills and confidence they need to go out and create their own local businesses before they graduate. Salons, shoe stores, and produce stands are cropping up in Uganda and women are making money and living out their dreams. Not only do they have income, but now they have the confidence to be sustainable business women - meeting their own needs and creating a generation of confident and capable children.

But we didn't stop there. We took the best parts of that original business program and created The Street Business School. These savvy women don't make products, they make progress! They are women who have dreamed of running successful businesses, and that's what they do when they graduate six months later! In 2018 the SBS program was spun out from BFL and is being administered by Street Business School.

Now we're taking this proven poverty eradication program to the world! We will partner with organizations around the globe to share our program, so that we can ignite the lives of one million women! 

See What We're About

Read about our impact
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