Paris – Day 1

On y va! The 20th Global Ambassadors Program has begun in Paris. But first — art!

Mentors and mentees arrived from all over Europe and the U.S., quickly made introductions and then dashed off with the hottest ticket in town — a tour of the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition at the Louvre, sponsored by our program partner, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Global Ambassador Elizabeth Buchanan (left) and mentee Deniz Alexandra Duygu (right) take in La belle ferronnière at the Louvre’s da Vinci exhibition. It is also known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman.

It was a whirlwind arrival to the City of Lights but there could not have been a more inspiring way to open minds and hearts in preparation for a week of transformative mentorship.

The schedule is packed with trainings designed to build strategic planning, financial management, and leadership and communications skills needed for the mentees to manage and grow their businesses across Europe. In a shifting economic climate the program could not have come at a better time.

Mentee Deniz Alexandra Duygu of Turkey is ready to get to work. She discovered social

Zoë Dean-Smith, Vital Voices’ vice president, Economic Empowerment & Entrepreneurship, welcomes mentees and mentors to the 20th Global Ambassadors Program in Paris, France.

entrepreneurship in her late twenties, after a stint as an auditor for Ernst & Young. Today she is managing partner of Arya Women Investment Platform, a company that invests in women-owned businesses.

“The main challenges of any social business is monetization and sustainability,” says Deniz. Her mentor is the perfect match to help tackle them — Elizabeth Buchanan, a serial tech entrepreneur based in Brooklyn with a long list of innovative companies in her portfolio.

“I bring the ability to identify opportunities,” says Elizabeth. “I can help people see where technology can add value.” The two have already started to map out their goals for the week as they work toward an action plan for Arya. Watch their progress and track other updates in the days to come!

Stay connected to #GlobalAmbassadors this week:

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

Watch the program’s YouTube playlist.

Visit the Global Ambassadors page at Bank of America and learn about their other women’s empowerment programs.

Photography: David Hume Kennerly