Stepping Stones to Prosperity for Kenya Women

Empower Kenyan women.

Empowering Kenyan women.

It goes like this.  A New York-based social enterprise Bird & Stone sells jewelry and sends 15 percent of its profits to the SiSi Fund.  SiSi Fund:

A micro-finance fund in Kitale, Kenya run by a nonprofit, it helps women, especially widows, get loans of anywhere from about $100 to $450 and learn business skills to start micro-enterprises ranging from fruit and vegetable stands to hair salons.

Why do Kenyan women need money moreso than others in Kenya?

Women, particularly widows, in Kenya, face a hard road.  When a woman is widowed, she traditionally doesn’t inherit her husband’s land.  Instead, the land,  along with all of his possessions, go to his brothers or other family members.

So the funding provides a three-pronged solution for women who need to get back on their feet to make a living, take care of their family and start a micro-enterprise.

Learn more:  Jewelry Startup Funds Micro-Loans in Kenya

Photo Credit: CGIAR Climate

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Opportunities Exist in the Middle East for Women Business Owners

PashminaMiddleEastWomen

Sarah Hildersley, Regional Coordinator – South West, Overseas Business Networks Program, Business West , talks about her time in the Middle East and the opportunities which exist for UK companies.

It’s important to highlight that women can do business in the Middle East. However, you should factor in the need to dress quite conservatively – I used to take a pashmina to meetings in Jordan, where it simply meant there would be less risk of giving mixed messages. It certainly helped reduce unwanted attention in the souks.

Read the entire article:  Women Doing Business in the Middle East

If you wish to contact Sarah, email her at:  sarah.hildersley@businesswest.co.uk.

Photo Credit:  jodigreen

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Resources for Women Who Export

ContainerShipWomenWhoExport

Women business owners face unique challenges as they look to exporting.   But let me share a tip with you on how to overcome those challenges.

In early 2012, the State Department asked me to write an article about women energizing world economies. In it, I talk about my experience in starting and running a global business, Globetrade.com, and serving as a consultant to countless global women business owners. My key point: In order to gain self-confidence and overcome social attitudes, women need to network continuously, support each other, look for role models, update their knowledge and skills, and have a clear vision of what they wish to accomplish.

Based on my experience, there are five things that are important before you venture out in the world to do business internationally.  I cover a few of them below along with offering a bunch of resources for women business owners and entrepreneurs alike who export.

Read:  Laurel Delaney:  Resources for Women Business Owners Who Export – The Story Exchange

Photo Credit: Lance Cunningham

Posted by: Laurel Delaney

Do Not Hesitate: Move Into New Markets

DoNotHesitateGO.jpg

As a woman business owner, are you cautious when it comes to taking risks?  You are not alone.  Many business women are but when big risks lead to big rewards, female leaders must develop a different attitude if they are going to increase their growth prospects.

According to a US survey many female business owners struggle to find an appropriate balance between risk and caution. The survey of nearly 250 women by the Commonwealth Institute South Florida found female leaders and owners are optimistic about growth for their businesses in 2014. But while they express interest in expanding product lines and moving into new geographies, most hesitate to take a financial risk.

Read more:  Hesitancy can hinder women’s success

Photo Credit: symphony of love

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Beijing, Tianjin and Heibei Province Women Entrepreneurs Collaborate

WomenOfChina

Women entrepreneurs in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province are willing and able to actively participate in a new type of collaboration.   The three associations of women entrepreneurs sought to implement the Beijing, Tianjin and Heibei Province collaborative development strategy, a joint initiative of the three women entrepreneurs, and signed the “Women Entrepreneurs Association of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei letters of intent” Agreement.

The move aims to combine the three regions’ women entrepreneurs respectively with the advantages of modern industrial division, to build an efficient communications platform for member companies to strengthen economic exchanges and cooperation and to promote resource integration and industrial docking. It also encourages women to participate in social welfare undertakings, to assume social responsibility, and jointly promote development.

Read the entire article:  Female Entrepreneurs to Participate in Regional Cooperation – All China Women’s Federation

Related:  Women of China – All China Women’s Federation

Photo Credit: Kam™

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Join Laurel Delaney For An Export Webinar (9/18/14)

TheWhiteHouse

Plan in advance and register to participate in Laurel Delaney’s export webinar taking place on September 18, 2014 at 12 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT.  The webinar is hosted by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).  WIPP is on the forefront of giving women-owned small businesses the tools and access necessary to be a part of the ever-expanding global economy.  Some facts from the SBA Office of Advocacy’s recent report, Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories:

There are a growing number of small businesses exporting each year, and the data shows that a total of 304,867 companies exported goods from the United States in 2012. Of these, 297,995 or 99.7% were small firms; and they generated about a third (or 33%) of the nation’s total known export value.

Learn more and register for the webinar (it’s free):  Exporting:  A Promise of Growth; Part 1 of 3:  Getting Started in Exporting — Are You Ready? 

Note from Laurel:  I look forward to connecting with you on September 18th!

Photo Credit: Loco Steve

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

 

Best Places In the World For Female Entrepreneurship?

Australia

Dell announced the results of the second annual Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), revealing that more than 75 per cent of the countries surveyed were not meeting the most fundamental conditions required for female entrepreneurs to prosper.  In a nutshell, Australia (pictured) has been named one of three best places for female entrepreneurship, together with the United States and Sweden, while India increased its ranking in 2014, compared to last year.

According to the study, India has moderate female entrepreneurship environment in terms of women identifying opportunities to start businesses (60%), feeling they have the skills (52%) and do not fear failure in starting a business (57%).

Learn more about GEDI findings:  Women Entrepreneurship:  India Has Moderate Startup Activity

Photo Credit: paul bica

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Untapping The Potential of Pakistani Women Entrepreneurs

PakistaniWomen

Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), Punjab has already taken an initiative to discover and groom women entrepreneurs who have excellent handicraft skills.  The intent is to boost textile exports and help women at the same time develop their capabilities.

Besides local training, the authority has enlisted the assistance of European experts to provide necessary training to these entrepreneurs’ who have an aim to expand their business to European markets.

Read the entire article:  Tapping potential:  Exploring women entrepreneurship

Photo Credit: modenadude via Compfight cc

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney


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