Posts Tagged 'women’s empowerment'

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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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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Only 2 Percent of Women-Owned Businesses Export Goods and Services

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According to Pamela Hamamoto, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the US to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva:

… that the majority of WOBs [women-owned businesses] are in fact small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), accounting for one-third of SMEs. Yet only 2% of those WOBs actually export goods and services. ‘This is not just a women’s issue,’ she said, ‘men and women must work together to achieve real progress.’

What that tells us is there is a whole heck of a lot of room for improvement to help women get out of their own backyards and conduct business worldwide through platforms like WEGG.  WEGG is on a mission to educate women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to expand their businesses globally.  Watch for programs to make that happen — coming soon.

Read the entire article:  Women’s empowerment:  good for business, development and men

Screenshot courtesy:  International Trade Centre

Stop Wasting Human Potential: Empower a Life With a $25 Loan

Vittana (http://www.vittana.org), a 501c(3) organization is out to create a life of opportunity for those who need it most:  young people.

Our mission is to empower young people around the world with the the education and training they need to build a life of prosperity and opportunity. We partner with microfinance institutions (MFIs) throughout the developing world to create and support new student lending programs. By connecting you to students, we enable our MFI partners to raise the right kind of capital to work with more and more students. Each student that appears on our website is a real student and not marketing material. We believe the biggest waste in the world is not oil or food or any other material thing, but rather human potential.

Learn more about Vittana here.

Visit their blog here.

Want to discover how to empower women?  Get educated here.  Like what you see?  Take action.

Posted by:  Laurel Delaney

Zimbabwe Female Entrepreneurs Face Funding Challenges

When it comes to obtaining credit from financial institutions, the perception is quite dismal from Zimbabwe women entrepreneurs a recent survey shows.

Yet, according to the study “An Analysis of the Enabling Environment and Potential for Women’s Empowerment” by Dr. Charity Manyeruke on behalf of the Women Alliance of Business Associations in Zimbabwe (Wabaz), a significant segment of female entrepreneurs have not attempted to obtain funding from financial institutions.

The negative perception might be getting in the way of at least attempting to make things happen.  Even so, it’s still challenging to get funding.

•  Based on the study, 34 percent of the female entrepreneurs who undertook the survey consider obtaining credit from commercial banks as “very difficult.”

Learn more here.  Related article here.

Illustration credit:  Dr. Manyeruke’s book

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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