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WOW! International Go Topless Day?

InternationalGoToplessDay

“International Go Topless Day” 2014.

I had to read this twice to understand what was happening.  On August 24th, New Yorkers – men and women alike – ditched their shirts and joined people around the world in celebration of “International Go Topless Day.”

According to the New York Post:

Around 200 bare-chested men and women chanted “Free your Breasts! Free your mind!” as they proudly marched from Columbus Circle down to Times Square and over to Bryant Park in the name of equality.

A little history from Gawker on why this is happening:

Every year since 2007, on the Sunday before Women’s Equality Day, self-described topless activists have marched in cities across the globe, demonstrating and celebrating the idea that women and men have the same right to bare their chests in public. They’re right, of course: it is dated and silly and prude to allow men to traipse around shirtless, showing off pecs, without letting women do so too.

Learn more here and let me know if you are for, against or participated at the “International Go Topless Day!”

Photo Credit: rbatina

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Meet Two Asia-Pacific finalists for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

 Jackie Stenson (L) and Diana Jue (R) of Essmart Global

Jackie Stenson (L) and Diana Jue (R) of Essmart Global

Jackie Stenson (L) and Diana Jue (pictured) bring social-impact technology to the populations who need it through their company Essmart Global.  This was a dream they nurtured during their undergraduate years at MIT.  They have been nominated as the Asia-Pacific finalists for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards and the only women from India on this list.

After beginning operations, we’ve been supported by members of the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, which we won in 2012. We’re also supported by Echoing Green, which awarded us fellowships in 2013. Finally, our wonderful friends and family have supported us, even when they weren’t quite sure about what we were doing.”

Read the entire article:  EsSMART Cookies!  Two Women Asia-Pacific Finalists of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

Related post (2/1/14):  Calling All Women-Led Business Owners, In All Countries and All Industries

Screenshot courtesy of:  Deccan Chronicle

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Shaping the Future of Women in Business Worldwide

Grand Hyatt, Beijing

Grand Hyatt, Beijing

According to The United Nations, “the Asia-Pacific economy would grow by an additional $89 billion annually if women were able to achieve their full economic potential.”  Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is the premier forum for facilitating economic growth, cooperation, trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region.

The APEC Women Leadership Forum has its program coming up soon – August 20 – 22nd.  They will discuss on how to enhance business networking, congregate role models to mentor next-generation leaders, explore new growth strategies to harness sustainable growth, and challenges and opportunities faced by women in business, at the Grand Hyatt Beijing.

Learn more:  The Forum (August 20-22, 2014) 

Submit your application (by-invitation-only event) here.

Photo Credit: flashinglens

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Businesswomen Are Ready to Become Global Players

Businesswoman with Handheld Device

The timing has never been better for businesswomen to get out of their own backyards and transition from local, regional or niche-market players into global players.  Here’s why.

Women Are Ready to Take on the World

The key:  It is evident that through export activities, women-owned firms grow more rapidly, hire more people, create more jobs and are more productive.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Kumar

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Women Buck the Trend in Sri Lanka and Become Entrepreneurs

Sri Lankan women.

Sri Lankan women.

To achieve economic empowerment, women entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka yearn for a successful career.  They also help their families, and the country, prosper.  Women entrepreneurship can contribute to a country’s development process in a number of ways.

At an individual level, it creates employment opportunities for women.  Women seek entrepreneurship for many reasons.  While some women start a business based on an idea or innovation, or due to an unsatisfactory experience as an employee, others are compelled to start their own business due to ‘forced unemployment’ – either from a layoff or due to lack of marketable skills.

Whatever the reason, entrepreneurship empowers women.

Read the entire article: Unlocking potential of women entrepreneurs

Photo Credit: Photosightfaces

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

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


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