The 10th anniversary this year of Bolton-based SheInspires Awards heralds a move into empowering the next generation of women leaders through education.

As well as much anticipated leadership courses running online in January and February, awards’ founder Gulnaz Brennan has exciting global plans.

“Over the next five years, I want to reach 50,000 women and girls in 50 cities in five countries to empower their lives and communities through quality education,” she said.

At home, a partnership with Alliance Learning – a member of the University of Bolton Group – has already resulted in the first online leadership course on January 26 being sold out.

Now, the movement plans to spread its influence further afield.

It all began in a much smaller way a decade ago as awards via the Women in Neighbourhoods’ organization but has grown each year to become the huge event and movement it is today.

At the 2023 awards’ night last November, 600 people attended the Bolton Stadium Hotel with finalists travelling there from all over the world. There were also 1,000 more participating online across the globe.

“The success of the awards internationally has brought important contacts and opened up real possibilities for the future,” explained Gulnaz. “So my aspirations have grown as well.”

“I know it’s an audacious vision but I want to help ensure that quality education is not a privilege of the few but a right for the many.”

Gulnaz will be announcing further plans later in the year.

In the meantime, entries for the 2024 SheInspires Awards have already opened with 370 nominations so far.

These have come from around the region and across the UK as well as from various countries including Turkey, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia, India, Sri Lanka, UAE, South Africa, Afghanistan, Portugal and Zimbabwe.

“The early signs are very positive”, added Gulnaz. “It looks like it will be a really special anniversary year.”

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