Empowerment Collective selected as Asahi Europe & International’s Lead2030 Challenge Winner

Following an international search, Asahi Europe & International has announced Empowerment Collective as the winner of its Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 10.

Formed by One Young World and powered by some of the world’s leading businesses, Lead2030 finds, funds and accelerates SDG solutions created by founders under 30. Since coming together in 2018, Lead2030 partners have provided $1 million+ and hundreds of hours of executive mentorship to support enterprises identified through Lead2030.

Asahi Europe & International’s most recent Lead2030 Challenge focussed on identifying sustainable solutions for SDG 10. COVID-19 has deepened existing inequalities, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable communities the hardest. It has put a spotlight on economic inequalities and fragile social safety nets that leave vulnerable communities to bear the brunt of the crisis. At the same time, social, political, and economic inequalities have amplified the impacts of the pandemic. COVID-19 also puts at risk the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights over the past decades. Across every sphere, from health to the economy, security to social protection, the impacts of COVID-19 are exacerbated for women and girls simply by virtue of their sex.

The Asahi Europe & International Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 10 was launched to support solutions that reduce inequalities within and among countries, with a focus on women’s rights and representation.

Nasreen Sheikh is a survivor of modern-day slavery and the founder of Empowerment Collective (EC). EC is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising global awareness of exploited labour, forced marriage, and extreme poverty.

More than 40 million people are trapped in modern-day slavery. Over 70% are women and girls who have lost their freedom, basic human rights, and are being exploited for profit. EC’s programs in Nepal and India provide a safe environment for vulnerable women, offering training in entrepreneurial skills with fair trade industries, and education in menstruation health, human rights and environmental sustainability. This comprehensive model gives marginalized women the support and skills they need to ensure their self-sufficiency and dignity.



Nasreen will receive a US$50,000 grant to further develop Empowerment Collective, as well as mentorship from Asahi Europe & International professionals to help scale their impact. Responding to her selection Nasreen said:

“Empowerment Collective is so honoured to be the recipient of the Lead2030 Challenge for SDG 10. We are humbled and touched by the team at One Young World and Asahi Europe & International and we look forward to working together to end modern day slavery in our lifetime.”