Dream, Girl: Finally, Women have their own role models

Shaaz Nasir

Dreaming, Leading, and Succeeding: Finally, Women have their own role models


Dream, Girl.

On May 26th, 2016, Dream, Girl premiered for the White House Council on Women and Girls. I was fortunate to be among the few who were invited to witness a film that is positioned to have immense impact on millions of men and women alike. The film Dream, Girl will not change your life but rather help you understand it. One moment you are in tears the next moment you are laughing your abs to perfection. Their mission is deceptively simple: tell the stories of amazing entrepreneurs to inspire the next generation of leaders. It’s an eye opening journey that’s crafted to introduce the barriers women face when dreaming big.

The mission is achieved by weaving stories of impressive women from all walks of life united in both their determination but also their experiences navigating systematic barriers. As a male feminist, what struck me most was how diverse the crowd was, this is when I realized that Dream Girl is what the world has been waiting for. A positive door into the world of women’s empowerment and feminism which would convince even the most cynical male. Furthering their significance is the representative of people of color. For years, I have been consuming countless media items on women’s empowerment, entrepreneurship and feminism and was always stuck with the stereotypical Caucasian female. Dream, Girl is inclusive, culturally aware, and effortlessly provides all women the role models needed to inspire the next generation of leaders.

One of these leaders would be Tecla Kalinda a Global Shaper in Ottawa, who had doubts about her FinEducation company aimed to usher in a new era of financial literacy among kids in Canada.

What is your Financial Literacy company trying to do?

ZalaSmart aims to teach young children between the ages of 5 and 10 financial literacy. This is done through fun and interactive workshops that children can enrol in the same way they enrol in sports and extra curricular programs. The goal is to install an essential life skill of basic money management at a young age, which is currently not taught in schools. If children can learn this skill during their prime development phase, I hope this can change the high statistics of young adults between the ages of 18 to 25 with lots of credit card debt and low amounts of savings.

How did you feel during Dream Girl, what impact did it have if anything on you?

As a female entrepreneur, I have to admit it is really hard. I felt like I could relate to all of the girls in the movie as the movie was so real and authentic. I love how they talked about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur. It’s not as glamorous as society makes it seem. Being real on this topic is very important as it allows one to know to never give up and what you are going through is part of the process. Just because someone said no to you 10x does not necessarily mean your business is worthless. The movie was as well very comprehensive touching on several aspects of ones life. From romantic relationships, over coming business hurdles, being a female entrepreneur, age, family, friends, funding, etc. Tips on how to deal with all these things are essential to the growth of your business.

What was as well so refreshing was finding people who understand you and relate to you. Feeling like I was not alone in all this and finding people with the same mind set as you was huge. Seeing successful woman doing amazing things made me realize that dreaming big is okay and it’s not just a dream… it is attainable because “dreaming is planning”. That what’s I’m going through is normal and part of the process.  That with continuous persistence I can grow a very successful business too. By the end of the movie I felt reenergized, inspired and ready to pick my business back up. I felt empowered thanks to the honesty of the film.

Will Tecla be the next Bill Gates? We have no idea. But what we do know is that Dream, Girl empowers those who may have never tried.

This is priceless.

The Dream, Girl World Premiere is on June 9th, 2016 in NYC.