The Business Chicks Immersion and Leadership Program

At Business Chicks we love bringing women together – we create the space to foster success, support, possibility, and a lot of fun too.

One thing we’ve done from the beginning is facilitate international, game changing challenges and this is your call to get involved in 2015. In 2012 we partnered with The Hunger Project Australia and out of that grew The Business Chicks Immersion and Leadership Program. The program has proven completely tranformative for all involved and that’s why we plan to continue our partnership with The Hunger Project for years to come.

This program is not for everyone. It's an opportunity for you only if you're ready to play a bigger game and step up to your true leadership capacity.

So far we've run six programs where participants have ventured on a journey to unlock their creativity, leadership, and entrepreneurialism in tandem with some of the poorest and most marginalised women in the world.

Business Chicks and The Hunger Project believe in the same thing - supporting and developing women leaders and creating a space for women to connect, stretch and make a difference in the world.

If you would like to be a part of this experience, read on.

The Journey. The journey begins upon the completion of an application, followed by a pre-trip interview and selection process. Individuals must already be or join as Premium members of Business Chicks to be selected. They must also have active membership at the time the trips occur.

The process of transformation and leadership begins through each Tripper’s commitment to fundraise or personally invest a minimum of $10,000 to The Hunger Project Australia.

A support network is created through Business Chicks and The Hunger Project communities, as the trip participants stretch beyond their comfort zone and find new limits. Past Trippers take on mentoring the new trip participants to guide them through their challenges.

Prior to departure, webinars and teleconferences are held for trip participants to distinguish leadership lessons, offer support, and learn about the pillars of The Hunger Project’s work.

The five day immersion program allows trip participants to witness the transformation of village women from non-literate, softly-spoken, subjugated individuals to powerful leaders who come to understand that they are the key to ending poverty and hunger for their villages. Through observing the women trained by The Hunger Project and relating the experience back to personal circumstances, new possibilities arise that have us explore our role and our place in the world.

During the journey, facilitated workshops are held on the ground. Connections and relationships are formed in an exquisite and rich tapestry of love, strength and commitment. The essence of The Hunger Project comes alive in each person, as they overcome barriers and break through beliefs to what is truly possible when we come together in a shared and transformational journey.

The experience is both profound and life enriching.

You'll be introduced to a new way of helping people that's sustainable and goes far beyond aid and charity. We are so proud to be partnering with The Hunger Project Australia - together we are building extraordinary leaders.

Get involved! If this sounds like an opportunity for you and you are ready to stretch yourself and make a difference then keep your eyes peeled for our next program and jump on board! Please make sure you check the finer details before applying.

Other Resources:

Mexico is calling

Read Rebecca’s deep reflection of her journey

Our CEO Emma took part in the program in 2012 - read about her experience in Uganda

Read about the leadership lessons Kelly learnt

Questions? Here are some FAQs

Business Chicks Bangladesh Album 2012

Business Chicks Uganda Album 2012


I am finding the questions about being a leader confronting. I am uncertain if I am a ‘leader’. Can you tell me a little more about what being a leader means?

  • Reallocating significant resources and raising the money is a leadership act. It takes leadership to step out of your comfort zone and step into the future, knowing that you’re going to make a difference. You are tapping into the inner knowing that this needs to be done, that you will make a difference, and youare the person who can do this. By doing so you will have a life changing experience and get to connect with likeminded people here in Australia, and meet the most extraordinary women making a difference for generations to come.

$10,000 seems like a huge amount, how will I be able to raise that amount of money?

  • We understand that the thought of raising $10,000 is daunting. Part of the leadership journey is unlocking our ability and our resources and getting creative. Firstly, get clear on your ‘why’. Why is doing this important to you? Women in villages go through this same process. Can they really be a person who can make things happen?

Have a look at your resources. This includes your own money and how you spend it. Share your ‘why’ with family, friends and work. Get a team together to help you do this. We will help you along the way too, including community forums where ‘trippers’ can share their ideas and successes.

  • It’s amazing what can happen once the commitment has been made by you, you will find that it becomes your reality, and a new world opens up to you. When you share your reason for doing this from the heart, you will capture attention from the most amazing places.

Karen O’Donahoo, Business Chicks Tripper said recently: 

 “I am actually a bit overwhelmed by some of the amazing things happening around me.  Last night, I ran into a friend who is a single mum (down at the dog park).  Her 50th is in a few weeks and she is writing on her invitations “no presents please – donations to The Hunger Project gratefully accepted”, with website details!!!! She said to me “I cannot afford to invest in The Hunger Project, but I can do this”.  I feel completely humbled by her generosity of spirit.  I am not often lost for words, but last night I was… we hugged and we cried together.  She has done the most incredible thing – so generous, so amazing!

It’s a funny thing, my partner has said to me that he has noticed a massive change in me since I have committed myself to THP.  I know it in myself, I feel a deep sense of personal fulfilment knowing that I am working on something truly worthwhile and truly beneficial for our sisters in the developing world.  I used to feel incredibly blessed, but sometimes quite empty… that feeling has been replaced by feeling incredibly blessed and extremely excited and also deeply content.  Funny huh?”

  • Have a look at your world and who you could speak to. Perhaps you could team up with another person/s on the trip and fund raise together, have an event, run a marathon, sell stuff (you may be an artist or a writer in your spare time), approach a corporate sponsor. Your friends will have ideas that could help you. You could give up your birthday presents; reallocate some of your spending towards your goal. We will share the challenges, and we are here and happy to be a sounding board and a supporter in your journey. We will also help you keep track of the money you are raising.

What will happen if I don’t raise $10,000?

  • The money you raise will still go to fund the amazing work of The Hunger Project. You’ll be included in the family of The Hunger Project Australia & invited to events, kept updated and be offered other chances to be involved.

Does the $10,000 include all my travelling costs?

  • In addition to the $10,000 you will need to cover your own travel costs. We estimate flights, accommodation and on the ground costs (food, transport etc.) of approximately $5,000 for Uganda and $3,500 for Bangladesh.

Do all of the funds I raise go directly to The Hunger Project? How much will go to ‘on the ground’ operations?

  • All of the money given goes to further the work of The Hunger Project both here and abroad. We do not send money via any Government for risk of corruption. You will experience for yourself how resourceful our village partners are with the money you are raising to make a difference in their lives.

I’m a very busy person; realistically how much time will I need to dedicate to prepare for the trip?

  • The time you dedicate to the trip is up to you and how passionate you are about your journey ahead. Our learning will be through our shared experience, pre, during and post-trip. This shouldn’t feel like a task or something you ‘have to do’. Rather we hope you get a buzz from it and be energised by the challenge and the personal break through from ‘I can’t… to I can’. The first part of this experience occurs pre-trip (setting the challenge, raising the money, meeting likeminded others, and learning about yourself through doing so). You will not need to be an expert in The Hunger Project programmes. We can provide you with materials to give you an overview of our work so you can speak to friends and colleague’s pre-trip, and then post-trip you will want to share your experience with them too.

What kind of visa will I need?

  • You will need to gain a tourist visa for entry into either country. This process normally takes around 7-10 working days where you will need to send your passport with documentation to the consulate.

My passport expires soon could that be a problem?

  • You will need at least 6 months left on your passpart from the date you depart Australia until the date you return to Australia.

Will I need to get vaccinations?

  • Vaccinations are recommended for both countries however the final decision is yours. We would recommend checking with your GP 3-6 months before departing.

 Will there be phone and internet service in the places we’re going?

  • There will be intermittent services for both phone and internet. You will most likely be able to be in contact every couple of days. In the case of an emergency our THP staff are on the ground and will have access to local phones.

 As a woman travelling to these remote destinations are there any safety risks?

  • Your safety is always our priority; we will be accompanied by The Hunger Project staff whilst on the ground visiting villages. You need to be responsible for yourself by being aware of where you are, and also your belongings. We recommend you get travel insurance.

 What will the village and the women we meet get out of me going on this trip?

  • Connection! They are meeting their family! Empowerment! Us being there gives them renewed impetus. They get to be centre stage! This is a big opportunity for them to share their stories and know that somewhere in the world they have a partner who believes they are the key to ending their own hunger.

Can I extend my trip and tack on a holiday at the end?

  • You can extend your trip. You will need to make all your own arrangements once the seven days on the ground is complete.

I have a niggling voice in my head stopping me from committing; how will I know if I’m ready?

  • Talk to us, tells us what you are feeling. The trip will be fun as much as it will be a learning experience. You will have the most amazing stories to share, you will get to go where not many people go; it is not a tourist route. You will get to sit in the dirt with women who will share their story with you, you will be able to go into people’s homes and see first-hand how they live. It will be a truly unique experience, and the opportunity is yours.

Peggy Radiotis, Business Chicks Tripper, Bangladesh said: “For several weeks I kept thinking about the Leadership & Immersion Trip. I was very disappointed in myself for not stepping up immediately though. How could I be so fearful when there were women in third world countries taking risks every day? While I was lamenting on the fact that my own self-confidence had taken a dive over the last 8 years, there were women in underdeveloped countries stepping completely out of their comfort zones and achieving things way beyond their wildest dreams. I was so ashamed of myself. Making the decision to register my interest brought back all those feelings of knowing that there’s more to the world than my comfortable life in middle-class suburbia and that I have the ability, both financially and emotionally, to do something worthwhile.”

 I have small children and I am uncertain about the impact this trip may have.

  • Cathy, CEO The Hunger Project Australia really understands this one. She was a mother of a 2 year old when she went on her first trip to Ethiopia. As a mother, we all want our children to grow up knowing the value of life and where they live and what they have. We want our children to be happy and healthy, to have dreams and believe that they can do anything they put their minds to. What better way to do this than to lead by example, to inspire them by sharing your experience and your learnings with them?
  • What will our accommodation be like? Will I need to share a room? Accommodation will vary from nice to rustic! And in the case of Uganda, we may well spend the night sleeping at the epicentre! Sharing a room is always possible, and it helps cut down costs as well as sets up some great bonding! We will coordinate this with you. We will try and accommodate you and your preferences; however you may need to share a room depending on the location. This may be the case when we are in rural areas.

To get more information please contact Millie at The Hunger Project Australia on 02 9222 908802 9222 9088 or