After launch events and workshops across Scotland, this week Adopt an Intern announced the next stage of our Government-sponsored Back To Work project, supporting minority ethnic women to revitalise their careers after a career break.

I’m delighted to welcome super-fruit health drink startup, Drink Baotic, to the project as a host employer. The company is on a roll after winning the Virgin Media Business Voom Pitch Competition in November 2017.

Isatou Knjai and Paul Blacker co-founded Drink Baotic after having met in 2008 with Voluntary Services Overseas. Having fundraised and lead a number of community development projects since then, specifically in supporting female co-operatives to launch vegetable gardens. The young entrepreneurs committed that Drink Baotic will offer 10% of profits to support female farmers in Gambia.

The company will now host a minority ethnic woman returner for a ‘Returnship’ placement in Glasgow, as part of the Scottish Government’s nationwide effort to close the pay gap.

Isatou Knjai said

“Having worked in supporting entrepreneurial female co-operatives in rural Gambia, the drive for social purpose in our work motivates us to help the communities around us to thrive, both through health and employment. We are a multicultural business and this is a great opportunity to partner with an organization with similar values, and to directly empower women to achieve their own goals, whilst supporting diversity and social equality”


In December 2017 we launched the Back to Work project with partners, community interest company Radiant & Brighter. The project is supported by Scottish supermodel Eunice Olumide and the Minister for Employability Jamie Hepburn. We reached out to our contacts in the corporate and startup community to find excellent employers who shared our values of diversity, inclusion and opportunity.

Drink Baotic join fellow Scottish EDGE alumni Mara Seaweed and Trtl Pillow, along with Highland Spring and Diageo in hosting returners after employability workshops across Scotland. With events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, we have focussed on boosting confidence and highlighting transferable skills with women from minority ethnic backgrounds.

Joy Lewis, CEO of AAI, said

“Adopt an Intern has been supporting women with internships and returnships for 8 years. An exciting placement with a great employer is an incredible way to refresh a career, or indeed, kickstart a new one.

We’re delighted to be working with Drink Baotic to help close the pay gap and overcome the more unseen challenges that minority ethnic women face in the workplace.”

So far we’ve attracted over 100 women to our launch events and workshops across Scotland. The enthusiasm from the ladies has been incredible and I’ve been truly overwhelmed by the amount of talent displayed, as well as some of the personal stories shared along the way.

These women prove that technology and terminology may change, but aptitude and attitude do not. I welcome employers to discuss what a talented returner can do to empower their business

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