Archive for July, 2014

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


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