Posts Tagged 'women-owned businesses'

How Mastercard is Investing in Women Entrepreneurs in Developing Nations

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In Michelle Martin’s recent Forbes article, “How Mastercard Could Close A $300 Billion Credit Gap For Women Entrepreneurs,” she reports,

“As of 2017, 70% of women-owned MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises] in the developing world lack access to adequate financing, representing a $300 billion credit gap each year.”

This major finance inequality stems from MSMEs not having access to a digital record of transactions or the resources required by banks to obtain credit. Because of these issues, women entrepreneurs, in places such as Nairobi Kenya, are not able to gain the capital needed to purchase inventory in order to expand their enterprises. Expanding a business is critical to the success of a business, and makes it possible for the entrepreneur to potentially achieve success on a global level.

Thanks to Mastercard, this $300 billion credit breach is about to change. The corporation is launching technology, through the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, to aide women owned MSMEs in these countries. Martin explains,

“In partnership with Unilever, Mastercard recently launched the Jaza Duka program in Kenya, where they created a first-of-its-kind digital lending platform. The unique platform tracks how much Unilever product a store owner has purchased over time and combines that data with an analysis by Mastercard. The results are used to provide a micro-credit eligibility recommendation to Kenya Commercial Bank, who can then provide an interest-free credit line.”

The venture is already being met with success. In one instance, a Kenyan entrepreneur named Lucy Njoki, has been able to increase her sales at her shop by twenty-percent, thanks to the Jaza Duka program.

To read Martin’s full piece, and an interview she conducted with one of the executives of this Mastercard program, Shamina Singh, click here.

This support of global women entrepreneurs is the kind of change that we here at wegg™ are proud to watch. If you or a woman entrepreneur you know is trying to “go global,” we would love to help you, too.

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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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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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Oxfam Helps Woman Start Jalawla, Iraq’s First “Women’s Only” Plant Nursery

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A recent article by Oxfam recounts the inspiring story of Zainab, the first woman in Jalawla, Iraq to sell plants at the town market.

In December 2015, Zainab opened her own plant nursery on the side of her house in Jalawla, Iraq. It was destroyed by ISIS one week later. When she returned to Iraq in 2017, her desire to have her own plant business was still within her. She then ” enrolled in an income-generation project run by Oxfam and funded by the United Nations Development Programme, which distributed $575 grants to 235 people—more than half were women—to relaunch their businesses.” Oxfam’s help has ensured the reestablishment of Zainab’s plant nursery, and it now exists as an agriculture sanctuary for “women only.” On the impact Zainab’s innovative business has had on her community and her personal well-being she says:

“I’m the first and the only woman to open a nursery in [my town]. After the women in Jalawla saw me opening my business, they were encouraged to open their own businesses…When Oxfam told me they would help me reopen my nursery, I became very happy. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that Oxfam brought my dream back to me.”

Helping women entrepreneurs, like Zainab, are what organizations like Oxfam and wegg™ exist for. Read more about Zainab’s revolutionary success, and how Oxfam helped make her dreams real, here.

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Why go global?  How do you start?  Where can you find customers?  How do you get paid?  Find out these answers and learn other best-kept secrets to expanding a business globally. 

JOIN us for our first weggchat™ (#weggchat) Wednesday, August 8 from 11:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. (noon) Central time on Take Your Business Global! and facilitated by Laurel Delaney, President of WEGG and founder of GlobeTrade.com.  Laurel will field questions and add insights on how to take a business global.  Small business owners can join the conversation by using the hashtag #weggchat to chime in with questions and answers.

Event is free of charge but you must use tchat.io or twubs.com to follow the conversation using the hashtag #weggchat.  See you there!
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Investing in Women-Owned Businesses Will Enhance Africa’s Productivity

It is the objective of Synergy Systems Consults (UK) Limited, a company that specialises in promoting and identifying partnership and investment opportunities within Africa, to influence dynamic changes in terms of exporting international expertise that will enhance productivity in Africa. For example, the Association of Certified Protocol Practitioners in Nigeria (ACPPN) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization aimed at promoting and raising the standards of protocol practice in Nigeria and sharing best practices globally.

Another initiative is the empowerment of women, which has a great potential to boost economic growth and facilitate the goal of an inclusive sustainable development throughout Africa.  Social, cultural, legal and gender specific barriers tend to deprive women of engaging in specific industry supply chains.  There is a need to promote the successes and transformative framework for women that will eliminate barriers and build stronger economies.

Investing in women-owned business and assimilating them into corporate supply chains can also contribute significantly to the world’s economy. Today’s economy records less than one per cent of spending by large businesses on suppliers as produced by women-owned business, generating new employment opportunities and so on.

To strengthen competitiveness, a country must focus on women’s empowerment to achieve an innovative and growth-oriented environment.

Read more …

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Note: Don’t miss our next WEGGinar™ 7/12/17 on “How to Finance Your Exports,” and presented by Xiomara Creque-Bromberg, Export Finance Manager, Minority and Women Owned Business & Multiplier Outreach Division, Office of Small Business, Export-Import Bank of the United States.  Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4467897765873413377.
Event is no charge but you must register in advance to attend.
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Women Account for 48 Percent of all SMEs in Kenya

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In Kenya, women-owned businesses account for over 48% of all SMEs, contributing about 20% of the Kenyan gross domestic product (GDP). Hence, the reason for a partnership between SheTrades Initiative (launched by the International Trade Centre) and Barclays Kenya for the purpose of offering local women entrepreneurs support in critical areas, including financial management, in order to help them create and maintain links to international markets.

“This partnership comes at an opportune time when SMEs are being globally recognised as vital economic growth and employment drivers. SheTradesKe presents us with a great opportunity to empower women in business and certainly draws us a step closer towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which seek to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030, while curbing social and economic inequalities,” Mr Awori [Managing Director, Barclays Bank of Kenya] said.

Read more:  Barclays, ITC cooperate to link up 10,000 women entrepreneurs to export markets

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Note: Don’t miss our next WEGG webinar 8/24 on “Reach Multilingual Markets: Creating Content, Developing Effective Partnerships, and Utilizing Translation Technology,” and presented by expert Jennifer Murphy, Director of Marketing, Eriksen Translations, Inc. Register here: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8702241284561995012. Event is no charge but you must register in advance to attend.

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Women Business Owners Help America Succeed

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Though certain pockets of the country have higher levels of female entrepreneurship than others, research by the Center for Women in Business and supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation shows that any community with determination can build a supportive network for its local women-owned businesses. Women are working tirelessly to export, create jobs, solve problems, and strengthen America’s long-term competitiveness. It is clear that when communities help women in business succeed, they ultimately help America succeed as well.

It is no surprise then that the face of entrepreneurship is changing:

Over the last 15 years, women-owned firms have grown by one and a half times the rate of other small enterprises and now account for almost 30 percent of all businesses. Additionally, one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.

Further, as women-owned and women-led enterprises scale up their businesses, they will ultimately serve national and international markets in unique and groundbreaking ways.  WEGG will play a key role in helping women grow globally.

Read the report … Women-Owned Businesses Carving a New American Business Landscape

Screenshot courtesy:  Women-Owned Businesses report

Women Who Export Earn More, Employ More and Are More Productive

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According to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman:

Studies have found that women-owned firms that export not only earn more, but also employ more people and are, on average, more productive than women-owned firms that do not. In addition, women-owned businesses that export their goods and services average $14.5 million in receipts, compared to just $117,036 for women-owned businesses that do not export. Clearly, exporting has very real advantages.

Mr. Froman is meeting with a wide variety of women business owners to learn about their businesses.  Rest assure, I emailed him (5/3/14) to offer my help and my book for educating women on how to export.  Let’s hope we hear from him and can make some progress.  I will keep you posted.

Here’s another great comment from Mr. Froman:

The OECD reports that creating greater economic opportunities for women—including connecting them to global markets—will help increase labor productivity, and higher levels of female employment will widen the base of taxpayers and contributors to social protection systems, which are increasingly coming under pressure due to population ageing. At the end of the day, we all win when we expand women’s economic participation.

Meanwhile, read the entire post by U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman: Unlocking Export Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses

Photo credit:  Flickr

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney


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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