In a blog featured on the www.businessfightspoverty.org website, Dr. Susan Mboya, Group Director for Eurasia Africa Women’s Economic Empowerment at the Coca-Cola Company, describes a recent event on the economic empowerment of women, as well as her company’s work in supporting women through their value chains. The Coca-Cola Company’s own micro distribution center (MDC) model allows women to establish small, independently-owned, and low-cost distribution businesses within their value chain to serve urban and peri-urban retail markets. Programs like the new 5BY20 initiative seek to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs throughout Coca-Cola’s global system by the year 2020.
Each year Uks, a research, resource and publication center on women and media, publishes its Annual Desk Diary. This signature product is a handy organizational tool that also provides a well-rounded view of a particular theme chosen for that year. Past editions have covered a variety of topics including women’s empowerment through education, the struggle for legal rights, and striving for power and visibility in the media. Inspired by its work with CIPE and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industries to create a series of radio programs about women entrepreneurs, Uks chose entrepreneurship as the main theme of this year’s Desk Diary.
Women of Pakistan: Climbing up the Entrepreneurship Ladder features a collection of success stories, news articles and essays about women entrepreneurs in Pakistan maneuvering through a complex and challenging business environment. The success stories below are just a taste of what can be found in the complete 2011 Desk Diary available for purchase by contacting the Uks office directly.
Continue reading ‘Women of Pakistan Climbing up the Entrepreneurship Ladder’ »
World Bank Study Finds That Legal Differences Based on Gender Continue to Limit Women’s Participation in the Formal Economy
Women represent 49.6% of the population worldwide, but only 40.8% of the formal economy. A recent World Bank study, Women, Business and the Law 2012: Removing Barriers to Economic Inclusion, contends that this disparity may be explained in part by the legal differences between men and women present in many countries. Building off of and expanding beyond other business indicator datasets, like Doing Business and the Enterprise Surveys, the Women, Business and the Law project (WBL) sought to identify and shed light on the additional legal barriers women face when seeking employment or starting their own business. The project studied 141 economies across the globe, measuring the legal differences based on gender in six areas: accessing institutions, using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court.
Continue reading ‘World Bank Study Finds That Legal Differences Based on Gender Continue to Limit Women’s Participation in the Formal Economy’ »
Last week, CIPE hosted a webinar with Selima Ahmad, founder and president of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Ms. Ahmad shared stories of how entrepreneurship is transforming the lives of women in Bangladesh, described her experience in helping women overcome obstacles to equal participation in the marketplace, and shared lessons on leadership in giving voice to women. CIPE Deputy Director for Programs Jean Rogers moderated this exchange on women’s empowerment with participants from the Community of Women Entrepreneurs forum and others from several countries across the globe.
Washington – CIPE is hosting a webinar on Success Stories in Women’s Economic Empowerment from Bangladesh with Selima Ahmad, founder and president of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on Friday, September 30 at 9:00am Eastern Standard Time. Ms. Ahmad will share stories of how entrepreneurship is transforming the lives of women in Bangladesh. She will describe her experiences in helping women overcome the obstacles to equal participation in the marketplace, and share lessons on leadership in giving voice to women. Registration is still open. REGISTER HERE
Continue reading ‘CIPE Women Entrepreneurs Update’ »
Last week Walmart launched the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative to help empower women across its supply chain, focusing on five primary goals: to increase sourcing from women-owned businesses; to empower women on farms and in factories through training, market access and career opportunities; to empower women through job training and education; to increase gender diversity among suppliers; and to make significant philanthropic giving toward women’s economic empowerment.
In support of these goals Walmart recently announced plans to create a dedicated webpage on Walmart.com that will feature an assortment of products created by women in nearly two dozen countries, including women who work in cooperatives and own small businesses. Expected to be available in spring 2012, the site will include products such as jewelry from Guatemala, Thailand and Ethiopia; coffee from Central and South America; and dresses from Kenya. By 2016, the dedicated e-commerce site will feature approximately 500 items by more than 20,000 women in nearly two dozen countries. The goal is to provide an e-commerce marketplace for women-owned businesses that otherwise would not have access to the type of broad customer base Walmart.com offers. Continue reading ‘E-Commerce Empowerment Solution for Women around the Globe’ »
Forbes Magazine recently released its annual list of the World’s Most Powerful Women and with nearly half of this year’s power women coming from the business sector, an increase of over last year’s 39, businesswomen are proving to be a force to reckon with.
There were in fact several changes to the 2011 list, including new additions and higher rankings of returning power women, but one thing that has not changed much is the presence, or lack thereof, of businesswomen from emerging markets. Of the 49 businesswomen on Forbes’ list, a mere seven stem from emerging markets, and similar to last year only one, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, is an entrepreneur.
Continue reading ‘What’s Missing from the 2011 World’s Most Powerful Women List?’ »
There is no question that doing business in a developing country is difficult, but doing business in a developing country as a woman can at times seem impossible. Women face institutional and cultural barriers that limit their ability to start and scale up their businesses. Women are also grossly underrepresented in senior management, holding only 9% of these positions worldwide. Yet despite the hurdles most women face, there are countless examples of women overcoming these obstacles and proving that with the right amount of dedication and innovative thinking it is possible to succeed. A recent article in the New York Times showcases three such examples of inspiring women, highlighting their struggle and ultimate success doing business in the Middle East. Continue reading ‘Women Overcoming Barriers to Business: A Few Inspirational Stories’ »
Last month CIPE hosted Democracy that Delivers for Women in Washington D.C. The event gathered over 250 development practitioners, experts, grassroots organizers, and others engaged in women’s empowerment to discuss the links between women’s political and economic empowerment.
- Watch the video or read the opening session remarks on the Political and Economic Power of Women by Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.
- Read and comment on Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s thoughts about the conference and the themes and questions it raised, on the Council on Foreign Relations’ Democracy in Development blog.
- Read and comment on Stephenie Foster’s Huffington Post article covering the conference.
- Check out a photo slideshow from the conference, on Flickr or on Facebook (Day 1 and Day 2).
To read more about women’s empowerment or follow-up on the Democracy that Delivers for Women conference check out the CIPE Global Update – July 2011.
A Conversation on Corporate Citizenship and Women’s Empowerment at Democracy That Delivers for Women
At the Democracy that Delivers for Women conference, the conversation on corporate citizenship was particularly insightful, offering examples of how adhering to good corporate governance standards and implementing corporate social responsibility programs can improve the business environment for women. The session was moderated by Taryn Bird, Manager of the Global Corporate Citizenship Program and Corporate Relations at the Business Civic Leadership Center, and included panelists Eileen Kaufman, Executive Director of Social Accountability International and Angel Fraile Coracho, Sustainable Development Manager at Endesa. Continue reading ‘A Conversation on Corporate Citizenship and Women’s Empowerment at Democracy That Delivers for Women’ »