Herself a former single mother on welfare, our founder Molly Cantrell-Kraig relied upon a friend with a car to get her back and forth to college. Having attended a community college through the Job Training Partnership Act, upon graduation, she began working in the newspaper industry.
By this time, she had purchased a second-hand car. When it would occasionally break down, she was able to access the newspaper’s delivery fleet, which would take her children to school and bring her into work. Without the flexibility of her job, and their willingness to help with transportation, she could have never bridged the gap between poverty and autonomy.
Once independent, Molly served on various boards for capacity-building organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and Family Resources of Iowa. From this perspective, she saw that there are many resources focused on helping women gain employment, but virtually nothing existed to help them *keep* their jobs. Transportation was a consistent barrier to independence.
Women With Drive Foundation combines the resources of community organizations and nonprofits with the business community and economic development to complete the chain of job creation for the women they serve. By providing transportation, Women With Drive Foundation economically emancipates women, enabling them to secure employment in areas that may have been previously inaccessible. to them.
Profiled by The Christian Science Monitor, listed among the CNN10: Visionary Women, and featured as one of 32 global influencers in Social Media and Inspirational Leadership by the Huffington Post in February 2013, Cantrell-Kraig moved to Chicago in order to learn how to scale their organization nationally. Winner of one of three UberVENTURE awards for business given during TechweekCHI 2015, and ranking among the top 2.5% of pitches submitted, Women With Drive Foundation seeks to iterate their model in Chicago to meet their goal.
Also a speaker covering topics as varied as building relationships between entrepreneurs and the media, women, poverty, social entrepreneurism, tech and impact investing, Cantrell-Kraig has appeared as either a speaker or panelist at NextGen:Charity in New York City; TechWeek Chicago and Pitch Week, Chicago.
She attended the United State of Women Summit, held in June 2016 and convened by the White House, as a Nominated Changemaker. Her ebook, Life in the Driver’s Seat, Women With Drive and Beyond, a collection of stories of how Women With Drive Foundation came to be and advice for entrepreneurs of all kinds, is available on Amazon, Kobo Books, iBooks and Barnes and Noble.
Cantrell-Kraig has been profiled by The Shriver Report, the Women’s Media Center in Washington, DC, Women’s World Magazine and Autobody News. Women’s World, the Chicago Tribune, WGN Radio ABC7Chicago and most recently on Bumble. You may find Molly on Facebook or twitter.