On April 26th and 27th, 250 entrepreneurs from developing and developed nations joined President Obama for the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, DC. Among these business innovators was Mirlinda Kusari Executive Director of She-Era, Kosovo’s first NGO dedicated to women’s entrepreneurship and a former CIPE partner. CIPE took the opportunity to talk to Ms. Kusari about the initial forum that inspired her to found She-Era, the organization’s achievements in over a decade serving Kosovo’s female entrepreneurs, and the significance of the partnership with CIPE. To date, She-Era has trained over 5,000 women in starting up and operating businesses, and has provided mentoring and market research services to up to 10,000 entrepreneurs (both men and women) in Kosovo.
An entrepreneur is someone determined to remain independent, an innovator with the ability to identify and define creative market opportunities, a calculated risk taker, and someone apt at applying resources to their full potential. The guidebook, How to Start a Business: A Guide for Women, published last year by CIPE-Pakistan is a vital resource for budding entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Though it’s focus is on women, the guide covers the general process of entrepreneurship and is applicable to both male and female entrepreneurs. The guide outlines important preparations for becoming an entrepreneur and maintaining a profitable business, along with case studies of successful business strategies developed by women in Pakistan.
Download the guidebook How to Start a Business: A Guide for Women.
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The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) invites young people to share their ideas on how to create opportunities for youth to strengthen democracy and the private sector in their countries. Students and young professionals aged 18-30 are welcome to participate by writing an essay on one of the three topics: Democracy that delivers, Entrepreneurship and society, or Women and participation. Winning articles will be published by CIPE and receive a $1,000 honorarium.
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SMEs owned by women create the bulk of formal employment in most economies around the world. Women’s business associations can provide support for women-owned SMEs, and thereby assume the role of influential community change-makers and stakeholders. However, business leaders in developing countries, in particular women business leaders, face challenges that entrepreneurs in developed countries may never encounter. These barriers fall into two key categories: instability and infrastructure.
Closely tied to cultural, social, economic, and political country conditions, instability involves the struggles of women dealing with patriarchal restraints, corruption, and sometimes organized crime and war. Infrastructure barriers deal with weak or lacking institutions that inhibit women’s ability to conduct business. These include: property rights, recognition of women’s rights as human rights, accounting, taxation, and banking rules, and civil law. Overcoming the challenges posed by instability and infrastructure calls for an engagement of women’s NGOs and business associations as agents of change, as they advocate, support, and amplify necessary reforms
Read the full article: Empowering Women through Non-governmental Organizations and Women’s Business Associations.
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“Few companies make social investments specifically aimed at empowering women in developing economies, but we believe that supporting this goal is good business and good practice for all companies. In the course of our work, we’ve uncovered a startlingly wide range of ways in which private-sector companies can offer sizable economic benefits not only to women and their societies but also to the companies themselves. The benefits to businesses come from enlarging their markets, improving the quality or size of their current and potential workforce (for instance, by attracting talent globally), and maintaining or improving their reputations…”
Read more about how helping women helps business and share some of your own experiences here.
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Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for all
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Committee at the Nepalese Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal, and the Fair Trade Group Nepal are hosting the 100th International women’s day event, Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities: Progress for all. The conference will take place on March 8 – March 11, 2010 at Bhrikuti Mandap and the Hotel De l’Annapurna in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The event will bring together women entrepreneurs from South and East Asian countries, in particular representatives from SME associations and federations, fair trade organizations, government agencies, and women’s human rights activists.
Visit the website of the Federation of Women Entrepreneurs Associations of Nepal (FWEAN) and see the attached document for more information about the International Women’s Day Event Continue reading ‘100th International Women’s Day Event’ »
Dear Women’s Organization,
My name is Dr. Andrea Smith-Hunter and I am currently a professor at Siena College in the United States. I am writing on women entrepreneurs globally and I want to ask your assistance in having Asian women entrepreneurs complete the attached questionnaire. Through the information obtained, we hope to learn more about the economic success of Asian women business owners. We hope that the information obtained will assist women business owners like yourself, regarding the challenges they face when initiating the start up, or the continuous operation of the business.
Continue reading ‘Study on Women Entrepreneurs (Asia)’ »
At 10am Lahore time (12am EST) on October 8th, CIPE Pakistan is hosting a Business Policy Roundtable on “Transforming Women’s MicroEnterprises into Small Businesses.” Follow live updates and participate in the online conversation on twitter (search for #beyondmicro) or facebook. Submit possible questions, comment on the action as it happens, and help bring this important and overlooked topic to a global audience.