This month, Dallas Capital Bank and its team had the pleasure of supporting Dallas women and businesses through Akola Academy, sending six members of the Dallas Capital Bank team to volunteer and help facilitate the Academy’s three-day training session on “Retail Fundamentals.”
In 2014, Akola Academy was founded in Africa to help vulnerable women move from crisis to stability, growth and, ultimately, self-sufficiency by teaching them the art of jewelry-making, and compensating them for the sale of their creations.
In 2019, Akola officially registered as a Texas non-profit and initiated a program to take job training to the next level. It joined forces with the National Retail Federation to serve local women in extreme vulnerability – women who are frequently labeled as “too hard to serve” and, as a result, slip through the cracks of other social and governmental services. Akola provides a pathway to self-sustainability through job-skills training, career-path planning, credentialing and life-skills counseling, helping these women transform their lives, their families and the communities where they live.
Its focused-yet-scalable suite of programs provide training in all aspects of the retail industry – from merchandising, selling and inventory tracking to financial and operations management, and more. Upon graduation from the program, women receive an official credentialing certificate and are guaranteed interviews with major retailers like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Home Depot and others.
"Akola has a history of creating jobs for women in crisis by teaching them valuable trade and sales skills, resulting in a talented and passionate group of women,” commented Wendy Blackwell, Dallas Capital Bank’s Executive Vice President, Treasury Management & Depository Services. “The Dallas Capital Bank team works hard to exemplify ‘How Dallas Does Business,’ and we’re honored to assist Akola in its mission to restore hope, increase resilience and aggregate resources that fuel Dallas women and business development.”
Thanks to the Academy and its supporters, women around the world, and right here in Texas, are launching successful businesses, filling positions in competitive markets and are becoming transformational leaders in their communities.
In addition to providing volunteers to teach in-person training classes, Dallas Capital Bank also provided funds to underwrite a portion of Akola’s classes in vocational training, financial planning and money management, soft-skills, entrepreneurship, pregnancy/early parenting best practices and job recruitment. To learn more about Akola Academy and how you can join Dallas Capital Bank as a supporter of their work, please visit Akola’s website at akolaacademy.org.
Many thanks to our dedicated volunteers, Sherri Wolfe, Tara Campbell, Jennifer Sauls, Wendy Blackwell, Jasmin Requena, and Jessie Nielsen.