Archive for the 'Social Entrepreneurship' Category

Teach a Woman to Fish & Go Global, and You’ll Feed Her & Her Business for a Lifetime

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Everyone knows the classic adage, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

But wegg® knows, “Give a woman a fish, and you feed her for a day. Teach a woman to fish and go global, and you feed her and her business for a lifetime.” This idea is the essence of wegg®’s mission: “to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global, so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.”

Our goal as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is to teach the women entrepreneurs of the world how to take their businesses global, and we are always thrilled to hear about the triumphs of women entrepreneurs around the world. Recently, we read a New York Times article covering the reform of Rwanda’s fishing industry, from an exclusively male world, to a community of women entrepreneurs. Author Shannon Sims describes the change,

“The intense physical work and danger that comes with fishing on Lake Kivu, along with reinforcement from traditional gender roles, kept women from fishing for generations, tending to backyard farms instead. But in post-genocide Rwanda, that seems to be changing. Today, women form an essential part of the national market for Lake Kivu fish. Besides fishing on the lake at night, women also gather along the shores in the early morning to buy the fish the fisherwomen deliver. They then haul those fish home to their small villages, or sell the fish to cooperatives.”

This newfound emphasis of women on the business side of Rwanda’s fish economy has inspired the development of Projet Pêche, a fishing cooperative made up of 87 women, in Kibuye, a town along the banks of Lake Kivu. This collective has had a supremely positive impact on the lives of Rwandan women. Just listen to one woman, Bonifrida Mukabideri’s, account,

“A lot of women have used the cooperatives to fight poverty. Here in Rwanda we now have the idea that women and men can do every job…Now a woman can say: ‘I can build a house by myself. I can look after my family properly. And even if my husband dies, we can live a better life.’”

wegg® would love to help global women entrepreneurs like Mukabideri feed themselves, their families, and their communities for a lifetime…by fostering an expanding global business that thrives for generations. For more information on the resources wegg® has to offer women entrepreneurs, check out our education page.

 

Girlboss to Launch New Social Network for Young Women Entrepreneurs

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A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that, “Girlboss, a media company targeting women entrepreneurs, plans to introduce a paid, professional social-networking site called Girlboss Collective in January.” This new platform will be structured for the ever evolving career paths of millennial women, with profiles highlighting users’ character as opposed to work experience.

GirlBoss Collective will, “fit the professional networking needs of young women, many of whom have multiple part-time jobs or career gaps that look out of place on a traditional résumé. Girlboss Collective is being designed with women in mind, although it will be open to people of any gender, the company said.”

Membership for the site will reportedly be less than $15 a month, and users will have access to video footage of notable female speakers in high offices of various industries.

The WSJ article goes on to detail,

“Ms. Amoruso envisions a community of subscribers helping one another on professional matters both trivial and large, from negotiating raises to finding an intellectual property attorney in their area….Girlboss has prototyped the concept of its private social network with a Facebook group called “Girlboss Gang” that has more than 5,700 members, Ms. Amoruso added. She said more than 15,000 users are already on a wait list to join Girlboss Collective, which will be an invite-only, U.S.-based network in its testing phase.”

Everyone here at wegg® is excited by the mission of Girlboss Collective, and we hope to partner with Amoruso and her company in the future. wegg® knows that the key to female entrepreneurial success is connecting with each other, to build an unstoppable global network.

wegg® keeps energizing women entrepreneurs the world over. We can help you build confidence, find great resources and show you the steps you can take to go global. Join us for our FREE wegginar® on 11/7 with Cristina Bandal. You can find all of the details, and register for the event, here.

The Rise of Women ‘Millennipreneurs’

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The Female Entrepreneurs Institute has reported that there is a new generation of wildly successful business owners, who are all under thirty-five years of age. The ‘millennipreneur’ model of business has proven to be advantageous worldwide. The Institute explains,

“[This new] approach to business differs from that of their elders in terms of their ambitions, results and leadership style. Among the successful business owning millennials studied in this research, some 78% come from families with a history of running their own businesses. As a group, each has already established on average 7.7 companies, compared with an average of 3.5 among the 50-and-over Baby Boomers.”

A contemporary and forward-thinking entrepreneurship can be seen in this new generation’s most lucrative areas of business. The top three sectors of wealth for millennipreneurs were listed as: retail (12.5%), professional services (8.5%), and technology (7.3%).

This new generation of business owners has paved a way for women business owners, specifically. The proof is in the numbers…

“89% of women entrepreneurs surveyed expecting growing or stable profits in the next 12 months. Female millennipreneurs are aiming even higher with close to 75% expecting business profits to increase in the next 12 months…”

wegg® knows that the future of entrepreneurship is women entrepreneurship. We can help you start your business, or show you the steps you can take to go global. Join us for our FREE wegginar® on 10/3 with Katie Kollhoff, founder and CEO, NUMiX. You can find all of the details, and register for the event, here.

Unlocking the Full Potential of Women- led SMEs in Indonesia

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In a recent East Asia Forum article, “Unleashing the capabilities of women-led SMEs in Indonesia,” author Naimah Talib reports that 43 percent of the 26 million small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia are women led or women owned (WSMEs). Not only do these WSMEs make up for ten percent of the country’s GDP, they also lead to social development of the culture by empowering women economically. Besides these major benefits, support of WSMEs aids Indonesia in achieving the UN’s “Sustainable Development Goals”, specifically the tenets of ‘gender equality,’ ‘decent work and economic growth’, and ‘reduced inequality’.

The advantages of backing WSMEs are clear, but why are there limitations on the growth of these organizations? This is the question that Talib proposes. She illustrates just some of the difficulties women who head businesses face. Talib explains,

” …common difficulties for expansion [for WSMEs] include limited access to information about financial support, lack of business and entrepreneurial skills, lack of professional networks and limited government support and services at the local level. Financial support is available for WSMEs, but female entrepreneurs tend to lack information about these options. Female entrepreneurs find that information about government funding programs is often limited, difficult to access or unclear.”

One of Talib’s main arguments suggest that Indonesian policymakers fail to effectively provide WSMEs with the necessary resources to solve these issues. Talib writes of the necessary reform,

“Three areas require greater attention: increasing the accessibility of information, strengthening the institutional capacity of the Creative Economy Agency and improving government services at the local level.”

To read more about the specific solutions posed to the pressing issue of the neglect of Indonesian WSMEs, read the article here.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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Closing the Confidence Gap is Key for Female Entrepreneurial Success

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In a recent Forbes article entitled, “What It Will Take For Women Entrepreneurs To Take Over The World,” author Carrie Kerpen explores what disadvantages women entrepreneurs face in our current market. Kerpen interviews Margaret Donnell, chief marketing officer of Capital One’s Small Business Bank, on how women can subvert the obstacles in their way, in order to succeed. Kerpen’s thesis is: closing the confidence gap between men and women will be a crucial factor in trying to level the entrepreneurial playing field.

Donnell attests the gender pay gap between men and women to be one of the main reasons women business owners are less confident than their male counterparts. She reasons,

“We have pretty clear evidence around us. We’ve seen studies out in media, I certainly have, that document a wage gap between men and women. It means that women don’t always have as much money as men because of that earning power. It also means that their confidence could have been eroded over time, and so I think there’s a lot we can do to lift each other up, and men as allies can lift women up, to help them feel confident and go after getting into business.”

Lacking in confidence can be a hindering quality for any business owner. Not having faith in oneself can lead to a fear of risk. One such risk could be the venture of expanding your SME into a global business, an important move for entrepreneurs.

A potential fear of risk taking is evident in statistics. Kerpen reports,

“…despite feeling more positive about their businesses than their male counterparts, female business owners are more hesitant to take big swings and heavily invest in their companies. According to the same Capital One report, 75 percent of men are likely to hire in the next year, compared to 63 percent of women.”

How do you think women can support and encourage each other to make the bold moves necessary for success in business? How can we increase our confidence to achieve heights greater than we could have ever imagined?

Read several proposed solutions to this issue, in Kerpen’s article, linked here.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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Social Entrepreneurs Put Passion Over Profits for Global Growth

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Women entrepreneurs across the globe, especially in Asia, are re-examining life’s problems through a entrepreneurial business lens.  By doing as such, women entrepreneurs are harnessing the power of global markets to tackle poverty and social ills, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation poll on the best countries for social entrepreneurs.

Of the world’s 45 biggest economies, the survey found the Philippines was the country where women fared best when taking into account representation in leadership roles in social enterprises and the gender pay gap.  They also discovered:

Women interviewed across Asia described a fairer playing field and higher drive to put compassion over valuation as the reason women are doing so well as social entrepreneurs.

Read more:  In Asia, Female Entrepreneurs Steer Business Toward Social Work

For a full look at the best countries to be a social entrepreneur 2016, visit:  http://news.trust.org/spotlight/Best-countries-to-be-a-social-entrepreneur/

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next_up_5oct_2016_wegginarNote: Don’t miss our next WEGG webinar 10/5 on “Cyber Security,” and presented by Linda Kelly, Sr. Relationship Manager, Commercial Client Coverage, HSBC Bank USA. Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7621255329636249348. Event is no charge but you must register in advance to attend.

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Social Entrepreneurs Push for Progress on a Global Scale

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The Schwab Foundation recently announced that 31 individuals have been named its Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2015 — an award that honors individuals who are pushing for progress on a variety of issues affecting underserved communities.  The awardees will become part of the broader Schwab Foundation community of Social Entrepreneurs, which includes more than 300 outstanding social entrepreneurs from 60 countries.

Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship says:

“Social entrepreneurs are visionaries but are also realists, and are ultimately concerned with the practical implementation of scalable solutions.”

She goes on to say:

“The 31 outstanding social entrepreneurs we have selected into the Schwab Foundation community this year are designing transformative models in collaboration with government and business partners to generate truly inclusive growth. As such, social entrepreneurs represent an integral and dynamic community of the World Economic Forum.”

RosanneHaggerty2015One awardee is Community Solutions which “helps communities become better problem solvers, so they can fix the expensive, badly designed systems that low income people must rely on every day.”  (Source:  Community Solutions).  Ms. Rosanne Haggerty (pictured) is co-founder and CEO of Community Solutions and is on a mission to end homelessness and strengthen communities.

Congrats to the awardees and a big thank you to Schwab Foundation for recognizing innovative approaches to progress and the potential for global impact.

Read more:  Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Announces Social Entrepreneurs of 2015

Complete listing of awardees.

Screenshot courtesy:  Schwab Foundation

Invent Something That Can Lift Your Neighbors Out of Poverty

The Wonderbag

The Wonderbag

South African Sarah Collins, who grew up under apartheid, was driven to become an entrepreneur so she could invent something that would help lift her neighbors out of poverty.

She tried earthworm farms and co-op vegetable crops, yet never got very far until a countrywide electricity shortage caused rolling blackouts in 2007 and she was forced to figure out a way to keep her dinner warm without power. She remembered her grandmother used to use couch cushions to keep pots of soup warm.

Collins made a prototype called Wonderbag with the help of an African seamstress. Her invention would mean an end to women spending several hours or more a day cooking and hunting for firewood, a backbreaking chore made even more dangerous by rapists who have been known to prey on women who gather cook-fire fuel alone.  Wonderbag allows women to work the way they want to.  Better yet, for each Wonderbag purchased in the United States, one is donated to a woman in Africa.

Read the entire article here.  Check out Wonderbag at Amazon and the Wonderbag home site.

Photo courtesy:  Wonderbag

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Note:  For information on how to set up an Amazon store just like Sarah did for Wonderbag, read Chapter 7, “Using e-Commerce and Social Media Sites as Stepping Stones to Export Success,” in my new book:  Exporting:  The Definitive Guide To Selling Abroad Profitably.


WEGG Mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.


Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN/Tax ID #47-2956522.

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