Posts Tagged 'women'

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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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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WEGG Unlocks Export Opportunities for Women-Owned Businesses

Michael Froman, former U.S. Trade Representative, had it right when he said it is important for women-owned businesses to be able to export their products because 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. Through exporting, women also energize our economies.

We’ve said it time and again that exporting has very real advantages and puts women business owners on a path toward greater growth and profitability.

Read more about how women worldwide are unlocking export opportunities for their businesses.

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Note: Don’t miss our next WEGGinar™ 11/1/17 on “UPS Takes the Guesswork out of Global Shipping” and presented by Andrea Cervini, UPS Illinois, Small Business Marketing Manager (https://global.ups.com/how-to-ship-internationally/).  Register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3272777010361474561.
Event is free of charge but you must register in advance to attend.
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Malaysian SMEs Export More than $1 Million Worth of Products

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A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between SMEs and foreign companies was signed in September last year (2016) in Sungai Petani. The five-year agreement will see about US$1 million worth of products (such as instant coffee, Stevia-based sweeteners and flavored carbonated drinks) exported abroad annually from Sungai Petani (a town in Kuala Muda District, Kedah, Malaysia) to Africa.

The state’s Women, Development, Agriculture and Agro-Based, Entrepreneur Development, and Community Welfare Committee chairman Datuk Suraya Yaacob, said that this achievement was a result of the great teamwork by the group of entrepreneurs under the Koperasi Usahawan Groombig Negeri Kedah Bhd (KuGerak).  [KuGerak was established in 2008 and now has more than 184 SMEs as members.]

The anticipation is that within a year the SMEs will also export their products to China and the United States.  The goal is to boost exports for SMEs so they break into more international markets, become stronger, and survive much longer.

Read more here.

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Note: Don’t miss our next WEGG webinar 2/1/17 on “5 Basic Elements of a Global Social Media Plan,” and presented by Melisa Hinosoja, IBM Digital Marketing and Commerce Specialist. Register here:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4285210609604750594.
Event is no charge but you must register in advance to attend.

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The Super-League of Entrepreneurship Belongs to Women

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Women can compete globally on any level without losing their femininity.  Yet, according to The Namibia Econonomist, women tend to differ from men on their management style in the following positive ways.  Note:  Many of these traits might also apply to men.

  • Multi-tasking — comes in handy in the early stages of growing a business.
  • Focus — the ability to cut out distractions and focus on what is important.
  • Intuition is the undefinable, immeasurable sense that helps with decision making and women tend to listen theirs more often.
  • Prudence is a characteristic not normally associated with entrepreneurship yet it is vital in the early stages of entrepreneurship, especially for women.
  • Cautiousness — women tend to be more careful in business than men and respect the importance of getting the balance right between overt risk-taking and caution.
  • Patience is linked to the trait of prudence and very helpful to have when the going gets tough.
  • Empathy — women are known to have higher levels of empathy than men.
  • Asking for advice — women have no issue with this, especially if they can get answers.

Read other attributes that women have in business:
Learning from Female Entrepreneurs

One final 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.

Photo Credit: Silicon Valley Blog

Women As Primary Engines in Emerging Markets

According to Hany Mwafy, Managing Director North Africa and James Russo, Vice President Global Consumer Insights who presented at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 conference (check out the lineup of speakers), the center of gravity is shifting away from North America and Europe.

In the decades to come, emerging economies will deliver more growth – and more profits.  Here are some key takeaways from their presentation related to women and their importance in the global economy.

The female economy – as more women enter the workforce, their earning power increases, as does their power within their household. Women now control almost $12 trillion of the $18 trillion in global consumer spending.

Further:

Women control almost $12 trillion of the $18 trillion in global consumer spending.

Read the entire impressive trends piece here.  And feel free to re-visit our “Predictions That Will Shape Global Small Business in 2010” (refer to No. 5) — as some of our points are similar.  Our 2009 trend piece touches on how women will rule the global marketplace (refer to No. 8).  Check out this interesting related piece too.

Photo credit:  Flickr

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

The New Globetrotters: Women

The New Globetrotters is a research paper I wrote six years ago and is still relevant to today’s women entrepreneurs who are navigating their businesses in the global marketplace.

ABSTRACT

Both the number of female-owned businesses and the level of international trade continues to increase on a global scale.  An overview of the literature and statistics regarding the increase in female entrepreneurship and in internationalization are presented.

The benefits of internationalizing are discussed. The twelve keys to creating an international entrepreneurial mindset are outlined. Some of the keys to developing a global orientation to entrepreneurship include but are not limited to:  comfort with change; a willingness to learn about other cultures; passion and enthusiasm; experience traveling to at least one foreign country; and an all-encompassing perspective.

The factors to consider when choosing a market for expansion are examined. Finally, the author suggests ten action-oriented business philosophies that have aided her in her experiences as an international entrepreneur.  Included in this list are the following suggestions:  research and map out your export journey; know your goals and strive for them; trust your instincts; and make personal contact with consideration and professionalism.

The entire research paper can be found here; go to Page 58.

And visit Amazon for information on the book, “Handbook of Research On International Entrepreneurship,” where this research paper is published.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Picture credit:  here

Women Are Agents of Change

In the global debate about climate change, women have a voice too.

Despite their valuable knowledge and fundamental role in society, women are not sufficiently represented in decision-making procedures on climate change. Hence, their experience and needs are almost completely absent from the political debate. This is a situation which must change.

In order to put the gender dimension on the agenda of environmental policies, women need to be consulted, informed and involved in the climate change debate, at the local, national and international level. The European Union has for a long time been a promoter of gender equality and is a leading actor on the international scene in the context of climate change and environmental policy. But more needs to be done to link both dimensions.

Read more here.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney


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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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