Yann Borgstedt is founder and president of The Womanity Foundation, an organization he started in 2005 that focuses on women’s education, training and development in Afghanistan, Brazil, India, the West Bank, Israel and Morocco. Among other initiatives, Womanity established the first radio station exclusively for women in the Middle East called Radio NISAA FM. The station was created to connect, inform, inspire and promote dialogue among women in the Palestinian Territories and abroad.
The foundation also supports one of Afghanistan’s largest girls’ schools – The Al Fatah School in Kabul educating 5,000 girls. Building on this experience, Womanity launched in July 2011 “School in a Box – Advancing Girls’ Education in Afghanistan,” a 3-year program co-funded by the UBS Optimus Foundation, aimed at replicating the successful Al Fatah model in a dozen schools in different provinces of Afghanistan.
In 2009, Womanity launched WomenChangeMakers in order to identify and support social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to women’s advancement. The program was inspired by the Ashoka model, which Borgstedt became familiar with through his participation in the Ashoka Support Network in Switzerland and France where he works with Francois Marty on green social housing.
Borgstedt is on the board of The Gender Equality Project, a Swiss Foundation working in partnership with the World Economic Forum, committed to creating a world where men and women are equally valued and respected in all aspects of economic, political and social life.
Prior to founding Womanity, Yann Borgstedt was a Swiss entrepreneur who in 1996 co-founded Netarchitects, a web design firm that was later sold to Altran Technologies. He went on to create, invest and manage a variety of diverse business activities in the fields of real estate development and exhibition handling in France, England and Switzerland.
Since then Borgstedt has also focused on green development projects including the development of a green neighborhood in Geneva, creating four hundred residential apartments (including two-thirds social housing) and a green residential tower.
Borgstedt is a member of the Global Philanthropy Circle.