Yesterday was the decreed the first ever International Woman’s Entrepreneurship Day as decreed by the United Nations
Events happened all around the world to celebrate the kick off a week of celebrations
I have gathered together a list of articles on the web from all around the world to give you access to some of the things that happened and links back to those articles if you want to read more. As I have said in previous blogs, I don’t understand how we got here and why such prejudice and violence against women is still so prevalent. I hope you enjoy reading some of these articles it is really worth your time. Unless we band together, men and women alike to support each other to stop it then nothing will ever change.
From the actual site http://www.womenseday.org/
The total number of women on the planet since 2013 is almost 3.6 Billion! Yet the World Economic Forum reports that no nation has yet to achieve gender equality – depending on where they live, women only have access to 58-70% of the economic, educational, health and political resources and opportunities available to men. Let’s change this and make 2014 the year everyone must come together and make a massive impact to support women owned businesses all over the world by taking the WOW™ pledge today.
We are asking every man and woman to join us in supporting a woman entrepreneur or woman-focused cause of her choice in honor of the first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) by making the WOW™ pledge to Celebrate, Support and Empower Women…
TO EMPOWER, CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT WOMEN IN BUSINESS AND BUILD A STRONG NETWORK FOR CHANGE WORLDWIDE
WASHINGTON, Nov. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Since 1999, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) has worked on women’s empowerment in 58 countries, John D. Sullivan, Executive Director of the Center for Private International Enterprise said today.
Today is Women’s Entrepreneurship Day which is part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The week officially opened on November 17in 150 countries with millions of people—from young students to start-up entrepreneurs to government leaders—taking part in activities and events throughout the week.
“Today we celebrate the work of women worldwide as they start businesses to create jobs and help their communities,” John D. Sullivan, Executive Director of CIPE said today. “CIPE is proud to work with women entrepreneurs to help them build businesses, expand women’s associations, promote policies for inclusive entrepreneurship and become leaders.”
Through its programs and international partnerships, CIPE works to:
- Facilitate business environment reforms that lower barriers for women to start, operate, and grow businesses.
- Raise awareness about how women entrepreneurs play a fundamental role in building democracies that deliver.
- Equip women business associations to serve their members’ needs and advocate for policies supportive of women’s entrepreneurship.
- Educate young women on entrepreneurship, the fundamentals of market economy, and civic leadership.
- Strengthen institutions that support women’s economic participation such as property rights and rule of law.
One example of success is in Cajamarca, Peru where two of the graduates of CIPE’s EmprendeAhora civic leadership program set up a rural agricultural cooperative. The cooperative educates people on best growing practices and sales. Amelia Lara de Fuentes, a local community member, learned valuable skills from the cooperative and now earns four times more income than before.
“Before, we were the forgotten town. Nobody taught us how to improve agriculture because we had no professionals in our community,” de Fuentes said.
Another example of CIPE’s work is in Jordan. Lina Hundaileh is Chair of CIPE’s partner the Young Entrepreneurs’ Association. As chair, Hundaileh has successfully advocated for changes to Jordanian laws and cultural perceptions to promote a more favorable environment for women. She is a successful entrepreneur who owns a chocolate company and runs a consulting firm that helps women and youth start businesses.
In Bangladesh the Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BWCCI) successfully advocated for policy changes on access to credit. Its membership has grown from 300 to 2,500 members. They have successfully launched an agenda with 30 concrete policy recommendations. It has also helped to facilitate $93 million in loans to almost 10,000 women.
CIPE is hosting a Google Hangout on November 19 to celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. Hear from four leaders who are working to advance opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Jordan and Kenya.
Watch the discussion here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovf-rl9iNRg
Yesterday Australia took part in the launch of the United Nation Entrepreneurship s’ first ever International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
The United Nations has created Women’s Entrepreneurship Day as a global movement to empower women in business and compel nations to work towards equal economic participation for men and women.
The UN is asking nations to take a pledge to “empower, celebrate and support women in business and build a strong network for change worldwide”.
Globally, women still only have a 58-70% share in the economic and political resources available to men.
WED CEO and Founder Wendy Diamond said the initiative is meant to celebrate and support the ways in which female entrepreneurs benefit the global economy.
“Since 1999, I’ve been a female entrepreneur and woman spearheading in small businesses. I personally encountered the many challenges that women deal with daily in the business world,” she told Thomson-Reuters.
“When women are provided economic empowerment they outspend men on their family’s health, nutrition, and education by threefold. Investing in women promotes economic and social development as women reinvest in their communities and homes.”
The United Nations expects female-owned businesses to grow by 90% over the next five years through initiatives like Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.
To launch International Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, some of Australia’s leading businesswomen climbed the Harbour Bridge this morning to represent the importance of overcoming barriers to success for women in business.
Sonya Karras and Sacha Kaluri were selected to represent Australia as entrepreneurial ambassadors. After separately building careers as motivational speakers for young people, the two women joined forces and created the Australian Teenage Expo, the only nationwide event designed to enable and inspire Australian teenagers.
“This day is a fantastic way to celebrate women in business. We need to recognise all the women – and there are so many of us – who take the risk to start our own businesses and enter the entrepreneurial world,” Karras told Women’s Agenda.
Karras said there are still barriers to women in business but that they are slowly being broken down.
“We know that it is still not a level playing field and there are a lot of issues still facing women in the business world. We have learned that you have to be persistent, find new ways of solving old problems and not back down,” she said.
Karras said both she and Kaluri felt dismissed by male colleagues when starting their business together, but that they encounter these attitudes less frequently now.
“The bridge climb is representative of all of us women overcoming these challenges and succeeding in all of our business ventures,” she said.
Businesswomen Robyn Foyster, Karen Lawson, Elise Strachen and Lyndey Milan joined Karras and Kaluri on this morning’s bridge climb.
New York City will also host a Women’s Entrepreneurship Day launch, with ambassadors Sarah Obama (the US president’s grandmother), Amy Robach and Sandy Lemer.
Gambia: Women Entrepreneurship Week Kicks Off
A six-day global entrepreneurship programme by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) has just started in earnest in commemoration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
AmCham Gambia joins the world in celebrating the GEW on the theme: “Celebrating women in entrepreneurship development; celebrating the Global Angel Investors Day”.
In the course of the week, AmCham is set to host a series of events and activities which would be capped with a gala dinner/award banquette on Saturday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi on the theme: “Insurance as a veritable instrument for sustainable business development”.
The activities would include courtesy calls on the Vice President of The Gambia, US Embassy charge d’affaires, minister of Finance, Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, insurance institutions, unveiling of first WED Ambassador of women’s entrepreneurship day, and a two-day radio talk show.
Briefing journalists ahead of the week long programme of activities,AmCham president Alh. Abdoulie M. Touray said female entrepreneurship takes center stage this month as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is launched on 19 November 2014 as part of the GEW.
The day is an opportunity to celebrate, engage and empower female entrepreneurs, he said, adding that in many countries around the world women remain an untapped economic potential.
“According to the International Labour Organization, there are 812 million women living in developing countries with the potential to contribute more fully to their economies,” Mr Touray said.
“Furthermore, there is a direct correlation between the policies in place to support women, the opportunities available to women and women’s success in business.”
In developing nations, empowering women to be entrepreneurs helps reduce poverty for women, their families and their communities.
The AmCham board president also said the recently released gender Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) found that in nearly three quarters of the 30 countries surveyed, “conditions” for female entrepreneurship and business growth were “unfavourable”.
This year, GEW is driving a worldwide movement to engage and support female entrepreneurs, he said, adding that the over 50 countries that take part in GEW will be encouraged to organize and promote events on Wednesday 19 November that focus on advancing female entrepreneurship.
AmCham Business Development and Entrepreneurship manager Alieu Jallow told journalists they had just completed a successful entrepreneurship week training exercise, which attracted more than 100 participants from all the regions of the country.
The training session, he said, was geared towards improving the knowledge of and assisting young entrepreneurs from the grassroots level.
Mr Jallow highlighted a business incubation initiative, which is an intervention sector of AmCham, brought in for Gambian youths to guide them on how to be job creators and not job seekers.
The incubation programme is geared towards creating a platform for youths to develop their ideas into tangible and viable businesses.
AmCham CEO Kebba Njie and board member Mrs Saffie Jobe also spoke on the occasion.
Minister of Economy and Commerce Launches Global Entrepreneurship Week-Qatar
Over 40 entrepreneurship-related events to take place November 17-22.
His Excellency Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce, launched Global Entrepreneurship Week-Qatar (GEW-Qatar) on Monday at a ceremony attended by more than 200 entrepreneurs, policy makers, media, and representatives of institutions supporting entrepreneurship in the country. His Excellency is the patron of GEW-Qatar 2014, and this is the third year in which Qatar has participated in this global event. This year, over 140 countries will participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week, hosting tens of thousands of entrepreneurship-focused activities. Silatech is the Country Host for GEW-Qatar.
Global Entrepreneurship Week-Qatar aims to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge they need by linking them with relevant organizations and mentors, by convening recognized local entrepreneurs to discuss regulatory and financial policies, and to foster awareness of the rewards of entrepreneurship among the country’s youth.
For his part, Mr. Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank said: “The tremendous expansion of entrepreneurship underway in Qatar, which we must support with the right resources, will continue to transform projects into products – supporting the development and diversification of our private sector. The launch and growing popularity of Global Entrepreneurship Week in Qatar has engaged entrepreneurs, built capacity and given great thinkers in our community the space and resources they need to create and innovate – moving the country’s entire entrepreneurial ecosystem forward. QDB will always support the success of SMEs, innovative projects and the people behind them. We look forward to many more years of partnership with GEW and everyone who makes this week possible.”
Wael Sawan, Managing Director and chairman of Qatar Shell companies said: “We, at Qatar Shell , are committed to supporting the Qatar National Vision 2030. We are therefore determined to make a very practical and tangible contribution to the critical national agenda of diversifying Qatar’s economy by using our scale and reach to support the development of a robust private sector.”
“We have decided to take a strategic approach to address this challenge from two different angles. Firstly, by helping to increase the number of young Qataris aspiring to become entrepreneurs. So we have partnered with Bedaya to bring the ‘Enterprise Challenge’ to Qatar to inspire young people want to consider entrepreneurship as a career option. Secondly, we want to support the development of Qatari Small and Medium Enterprises. So we have partnered with Qatar Development Bank to enable local SMEs to compete for specific business opportunities within Pearl GTL, the world’s largest gas to liquids plant delivered by Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Shell ,” added Sawan.
At the GEW Gala Dinner held on Sunday, Qatar Shell and the Bedaya Centre announced the winners of the ‘Enterprise Challenge Qatar’ 2014 Universities Final Competition. ‘The Enterprise Challenge Qatar’ is an annual business simulation and learning competition that gives students in Qatar a first flavor of the excitement of entrepreneurship, enhances their business knowledge and equips them with valuable skills including team work and strategic thinking. More than 700 students from nine universities and 14 schools across Qatar participated in the competition this year.
This year, around 40 events and workshops are planned, mostly taking place at the Marriott Marquis City Center and addressing topics such as legal requirements in Qatar, media and presentation strategies, financing opportunities, product and market development, leveraging technology, social entrepreneurship, and many others.
In honor of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, on Wednesday, November 19, Qatar Chamber, the International Chamber of Commerce, and How Women Work will host a panel session featuring female entrepreneurs in Qatar, workshops on interactive networking and how to do business in Qatar, and a team building “fun session” all at the Qatar Chamber offices.
On November 20-22, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is hosting a Sports Medicine hackathon for young entrepreneurs who will work together on possible solutions to solve real problems in the field of sports medicine.
Qatar Development Bank ( QDB ) is Entrepreneurship Partner for GEW-Qatar 2014, while Qatar Shell is Gold Sponsor and the Qatar Financial Center Authority (QFC) is Growth Platform Partner. Silatech, a Qatar-based social initiative focused on youth employment and entrepreneurship, is the official Country Host for GEW-Qatar. I Love Qatar is the Official Online Partner, while The Edge is the Official Business Magazine Partner. Uber is Official Transport Partner and Evently is Event Partner.
The Board of Global Entrepreneurship Week-Qatar consists of a variety of local organizations, including Silatech, the Bedaya Center, Enterprise Qatar, Shell Qatar, Entrepreneurs’ Organisation, the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Qatar University, Qatar Development Bank , Qatar Science and Technology Park, 7ayak Hub, Qatar Business Incubation Center, and How Women Work. For more information about GEW-Qatar, see www.gew-qatar.com.
Global Entrepreneurship Week
Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. During one week each November, GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.
November 19, 2014, as has been proclaimed Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED); the launch of this inaugural event will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The day is an opportunity to celebrate, engage and empower female entrepreneurs.
So today, the NUGS Women’s Commission wishes to celebrate all women entrepreneurs in Ghana, especially young women entrepreneurs in school. Those who utilize their skills and talents in the service of humanity.
According to the International Labor Organization, there are 812 million women living in developing countries with the potential to contribute more fully to their economies. Yet the World Economic Forum reports that no nation has yet to achieve gender equality – depending on where they live, women only have access to 58-70% of the economic, educational, health and political resources and opportunities available to men.
Given the above statistics, the Women’s Commission of the National Union of Ghana Students acknowledges the need to empower women economically, especially young women in school. For this reason, the Commission has already commenced preparations for establishment of a Women’s Leadership Centre starting February 2015 to train women in leadership and governance. The key modules of this training programme are management of SMEs and resource mobilization.
Wendy Diamond – CEO and Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day writes “We will celebrate the unwavering positives that women entrepreneurs bring to the global economy as well as empower and support future generations”
WED is not only one day to “Empower, Support and Celebrate Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide,” but it’s main objective is to be a strong leader in women’s entrepreneurship annually from 2014 and beyond, implementing a number of key initiatives designed to support women worldwide and help them with their businesses all year long.
In 2002, Ghana Statistical Survey reported that 85 percent of women are in the private labour force compared to their male colleagues who make up 75 percent (Dzisi, 2008). Additionally, Jalbert (1999c) found that about 70 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises are owned and operated by females.
And so even as the NUGS Women’s Commission admits that some progress has been made on the economic front in respect of creating opportunities for women, the Commission still believes a lot more interventions will have to be adopted to accelerate women’s growth and development. We must increase access to credit, land, information and other economic resources needed to develop and grow their businesses.
From this day forward the Commission pledges to rally everyone behind the call to make a massive impact to support women owned businesses in the country.
The fifth edition of the Global Entrepreneurial Summit (GES) kicked off Tuesday in Marrakech with the first day dedicated to female entrepreneurs which coincided with the International Day of Women Entrepreneurs amid tight security measures.
More than 500 female participants from across the globe took part in GES in order to exchange their ideas and expertise in setting up and managing businesses.
Miriem Bensalah Chaqroun, chairwoman of the General Confederation of Enterprises of Morocco (Confederation Generale Des Entreprises Marocaines), launched the Summit by paying a tribute to women entrepreneurs.
“Our goal today is to engage women and men worldwide to pledge their support to women entrepreneurs or to a reason to support their community with talent. Although the share of women entrepreneurs is still below our aspirations, there is no doubt that the trends of the last decade show a paradigm shift in women’s participation,” Bensalah Chaqroun said.
She also highlighted the major challenges facing women in the Middle East, including education and acceptance in the market, noting that Morocco has the potential and means to lead the region in women entrepreneurship thanks to its modern banking system and reforms.
However, Moroccan minister of solidarity Bassima Hakkaoui, noted that funding was the greatest challenge facing women entrepreneurs.
“Financial institutions are very reluctant to fund women’s free enterprises, which discourages many of them to set up the businesses,” said Hakkaoui.
US Secretary of State for Trade Penny Pritzker talked about the economic benefits of women’s engagement in free enterprise, the challenges facing female entrepreneurs, and US efforts to bolster women business leaders globally in opening remarks.
“too often women lack access to funding, training, information and communication technologies in order to launch start-ups and grow their businesses,” Pritzer told the packed audience, calling for the business culture of not accepting failure in one venture and starting another to change in many parts of the world.
“We want all entrepreneurs, especially women to have the same support structure. When you succeed, societies change for the better,” she tweeted.
The first day sought to bring together women entrepreneurs from around the world to exchange and share their knowledge and experience in business and shed light on some of their success stories.
“The Summit is an opportunity to introduce Moroccan women’s role in contributing to the development of Morocco’s economy,” said Mbarka Bouaida, Morocco’s Deputy Foreign Minister.
“The development of any nation cannot be achieved without involving women in various sectors,” Bouaida added.
Participants benefitted from “Mentoring” sessions which were supervised by CEOs and international experts while Business-to-Business meetings were held in order to explore opportunities for business partnership and development.
A Live Pitch Session was held for women entrepreneurs to give a 2-3 minute pitch of their business to top-notch judges who provided feedback at the end of each round.
The top winners from each round were selected to compete in the final pitching competition for more than $10,000 in prizes and support opportunities.
Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine Russell is currently in Morocco for the second stop on a three country swing to the United Kingdom, Morocco, and Norway. Ambassador Russell travelled to the United Kingdom on Monday, November 18th and will conclude her trip in Norway on Monday, November 24th.
While in London, Ambassador Russell gave a keynote address on women and the economy at the Trust Women Conference on Monday, November 18th and also met with U.S. Embassy staff.
Ambassador Russell then traveled to Morocco, where she attended the Women’s Entrepreneurship Signature Event on Innovation and Inspiration – the Next Billion Rising – and delivered closing remarks at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day luncheon and high-level policy dialogue. Ambassador Russell also visited the Women’s Education and Training Center in the Hay Mohammadi district of Marrakech with Second Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden. During Ambassador’s time in Morocco, she will also have meetings in both Marrakech and Casablanca where she will discuss the status of women and girls in the region with religious leaders, members of parliament, civil society leaders, adolescent girls, and women entrepreneurs.
On November 22, Ambassador Russell will travel to Norway to lead the U.S. delegation at the Oslo Symposium on Advancing Women’s Rights and Empowerment in Afghanistan. The November 23 symposium will include participants from the international community as well as women’s rights leaders aiming to advance the gains made by women and girls in Afghanistan throughout its transition process. Ambassador Russell will provide remarks during a high-level panel reinforcing the United States’ strong commitment to supporting Afghan women and girls.
‘Women entrepreneurs,’ focal theme at Indian International Trade Fair
For once, tourism, which is invariably the showpiece sector of the Union Territory, is playing a second fiddle in a road show hosted by the administration.
The Puducherry pavilion at the Indian International Trade Fair happening at the Pragati Maidan in Delhi is flaunting women’s power in the region, though as a small allowance, some space has been reserved for tourism hardsell.
In fact, ‘women entrepreneurs’ is the focal theme of the 34th edition of the fair organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation which this year features more participants and bigger exhibition space than previous shows.
The fair has been designed as a B2B affair till November 18 after which it switches to B2C mode until it concludes on November 27.
“The uniqueness of the region has always appealed to others. We are seeing the pull of Brand Puducherry at this fair too. We expect more footfalls at the pavilion, once the show is thrown open to the public,” said a top honcho of the administration who is now camping in Delhi.
A Puducherry Day at the event also came in handy to project the cultural richness and diversity of the region.
Puducherry, which prides itself on a thriving tradition of women entrepreneurship, is pitching its success stories, especially in the Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector. The enterprises women have engaged in range across poultry products, handicrafts, candle-making, jam and pickle preparations and doll-making.
“It’s heartening to see a lot of women in the region take the important first step towards becoming independent by setting up their own enterprise and also turning job-providers,” says Anu Sriram, Chairperson of the Puduchery chapter of the Indian Women Network (IWN), a networking platform for women under the Confederation of Indian Industry.
The IWN has been seeing not just larger numbers of women entrepreneurs but also diversity in the businesses, which range from modest ventures such as laundry unit or school canteens to supply of packaging materials to home appliance makers and organic cotton exports. Some are independently run by women, others managed jointly with spouse.
“Importantly, entrepreneurship has given the women the flexibility to maintain work-life balance,” said Ms. Sriram.
There are downsides too with most women still reluctant to interact with bureaucracy or bank officials or push clearances through. They also lack mentoring in scaling up their business units.
The IWN has been trying to organise experience-sharing sessions with successful entrepreneurs from other places to motivate the women in the region to overcome challenges or scale up their enterprises, Ms. Sriram said.
The most outstanding women entrepreneurs are also periodically chosen for the IWN woman exemplar awards.