Archive for the ‘Training’ Category.

Balkan Women Coalition Comes Together for a Training Seminar in Bulgaria

The Balkan Women Coalition has held another training seminar this month. The “Best Practices in Entrepreneurship, Business Organizations and Social Sciences” seminar took place on June 5-6 in Santa Marina Holiday Village, Sozopol, Bulgaria.

The event was organized and hosted by SELENA, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Bulgaria in the framework of the project titled “„Balkan Women Coalition for Professional Qualification and Training in the Field of Business and Economic Science”. The project receives financial support from the European Union, through the Lifelong Learning Program.

Private entrepreneurs, representatives of business associations and members of the academia in Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Serbia, Croatia and FYROM attended the event.

The seminar included sessions on entrepreneurship, business organizations and social sciences, as well as vivid discussions about and experience exchanges of best practices of SMEs in the fields of manufacturing, tourism and services. The participants introduced examples of successful small and medium-sized companies in the Balkans and discussed about the factors behind their success.

Carmen Stanila, Deputy Director of the Regional Center for Organization Management in Romania presented on the role of business support organizations in creating a venue for positive competition. In addition, she shared best practices of Romanian SMEs in manufacturing. In this context, she highlighted several women entrepreneurs who have developed successful businesses in the manufacturing sector in Romania.

The next event of the Balkan Women Coalition will take place in fall in Croatia.



BWCCI Overcomes Challenges in Bangladesh

In May, the  Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) received a fund of $1,350,388 to train 56 groups of 30 women entrepreneurs across Bangladesh.  This endeavor came with a challenge however, if we did not use all of the funds by June, the money would need to be returned.  Naturally, my staff questioned whether such a feat was even possible.


As an entrepreneur, I learned that opportunity is not a constant and when it arrives, we must take full advantage and use it to its potential.  BWCCI was established to benefit women entrepreneurs and help women build their businesses and we had no choice but to do our best to compete the mission at hand.  We increased our existing trainers and outsourced another 60.  After training them, I spoke to them and said, “Let’s work together and make the impossible possible!”


Throughout the month of June we reviewed the existing module, planned our training sessions, purchased the necessary materials and implemented our programs.  In addition to battling poor infrastructure and the traffic jams that are so common in Bangladesh we lost three whole days due to a Mayoral election, budget proceedings, and a religious holiday!  Never the less, I am proud and happy to say that we completed the 56th batch on June 29th.  That means we provided training to 1,580 women throughout 26 districts of Bangladesh!

As a result, we are receiving funding to train an additional 16,000 women through June 2014! We look forward to continuing our empowerment of women entrepreneurs and hope to gain at least 600 additional members through this program.  The challenge starts now!

CIPE Hosts Sessions for Women Associations in Kathmandu

“The sessions in Dhaka and Kathmandu helped develop structure and set direction and proper governance guidance to our business associations, which usually tend to be run according to individual chairperson’s goals. Setting vision and mission based on a membership needs assessment is such a simple idea that we learned…so basic but yet hardly used as we tend to overlook membership requirements in our day to day chamber activities and operations” – Rezani Aziz, Sri Lanka

Despite severe challenges, Women Business Associations are playing effective roles in promoting interests of their members. However, CIPE has observed that most women business associations in South Asia are struggling to perform optimally.

CIPE took this challenge and an opportunity to work with a selected group of eleven business associations in the South Asia region aiming at strengthening institutional capacity to become stronger advocates for their members. In the first phase of this project, CIPE organized a two-day session for the group in Dhaka in January 2013. Continue reading ‘CIPE Hosts Sessions for Women Associations in Kathmandu’ »

Educating Women Business Associations in the Balkans

The association members of the Balkan Coalition of Women Business Associations got together for a series of two educational events which took place on March 20-22, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. The first seminar was titled “Primary Aspects of Managing Effective Human Resources” whereas the second seminar focused on businesses for migrants and people with disabilities.

The two events, hosted by the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER) as the Turkish Member of the Coalition, brought together over thirty representatives of women business associations from eight countries in the Balkan region (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, FYROM, Greece, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey). Continue reading ‘Educating Women Business Associations in the Balkans’ »

Indigenous Women and the Fight for Economic Inclusion in Peru

Originally posted on the CIPE Development Blog by Molly Brister.

Last October U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Peru. Clinton’s Peru trip barely made the headlines, but her remarks deserve attention and continue to ring true worldwide, especially in Latin America.

On her agenda: discussing bilateral and regional cooperation and delivering a keynote on women’s financial inclusion. In her remarks, she emphasized that economic strength is derived from social inclusion, and “at the heart of social inclusion [is] a commitment to women and girls.” But unfortunately the world’s attention was elsewhere, caught up in controversy over Libya and other regional priorities. Continue reading ‘Indigenous Women and the Fight for Economic Inclusion in Peru’ »

Stories of Success from Bangladesh

The Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) works to support their local women business community.  Offering services including training, capacity building, and advocacy, BWCCI has emerged as a strong civil society organization that helps women entrepreneurs develop the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful.

Working with USAID’s Democracy and Governance program, Promoting Governance, Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity (PROGATI) on fighting corruption, and with CIPE on access to credit, BWCCI has established regional working groups to aid women in their endeavors.  Here are a few stories of some of the women BWCCI has helped through their work.


“I was experiencing a lot of difficulty getting a loan from the bank, but with the support of our divisional BWCCI working group it became easier for me.”

At the age of 22, Konika Rani assumed responsibility for her family after the death of her husband.  Having started a business in 2005 called “Pankaj Boutique house” in Aditmari, Lalmonirhat she applied for loan at the Janata Bank, mortgaging her land to the bank in the process.  After 2 months, with the support of BWCCI, Konika received her first loan, in the amount of Tk20000, and repaid it within the scheduled timeframe. Following this, Konika applied for another loan from Janata Bank for Tk50000. However, the bank proposed her to only take Tk20000 again. In response, she informed the Rangpur Divisional working group of BWCCI and with the support of the Divisional Head, ACC, and Bank personnel she was able to receive Tk45000. Now, with the proper funds she can continue her business and fulfill her responsibilities to her family.

Continue reading ‘Stories of Success from Bangladesh’ »

The Coca-Cola Company Hopes to Empower 5 Million Women by 2020

In a blog featured on the 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.

Continue reading ‘The Coca-Cola Company Hopes to Empower 5 Million Women by 2020’ »

Members of the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania Learn to Communicate with Public Officials

Last week members of the Coalition of Women Business Associations (CAFA) in Romania participated in a workshop titled “How to Communicate with Public Officials” which took place in Bucharest. The event brought together fifteen business women and managers representing six women business associations from all over the country and was organized by the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Romania – Timisoara, a CAFA member, and the Advocacy Academy. Another CAFA member, the Association Business Opportunities for Women hosted the event at its headquarters.
Continue reading ‘Members of the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania Learn to Communicate with Public Officials’ »

Walmart Launches Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative

This morning, Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke launched a major initiative that will use the company’s global size and scale to help empower women across its supply chain. Working over the past year with leaders from government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), philanthropic groups and academia, Walmart’s Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative has established five goals.

By the end of 2016, Walmart aims to:

  1. Increase sourcing from women-owned businesses. Over the next five years, the company will source $20 billion from women-owned businesses in the U.S. and double sourcing from women suppliers internationally.
  2. Empower women on farms and in factories through training, market access and career opportunities. New programs will help 60,000 women working in factories that supply products to Walmart and other retailers develop the skills they need to become more active decision-makers in their jobs and for their families. The initiative will also help women farm workers participate more fully in the agriculture supply chain.
  3. Empower women through job training and education. Successful retail training programs will be scaled to help 200,000 women internationally. In the U.S., Walmart will help 200,000 women from low-income households gain job skills and access higher education.
  4. Increase gender diversity among major suppliers. The company will work with major professional service firms and merchandise suppliers with over $1 billion in sales to increase women and minority representation on Walmart accounts.
  5. Make significant philanthropic giving toward women’s economic empowerment. The company will support these programs with more than $100 million in grants that drive progress against key goals. Funding will come from the Walmart Foundation and donations directly from Walmart’s international businesses.

You can find more information on the initiative in the official press release found here, as well as a short video to help explain the initiative in a bit more detail.

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The Association of Business Women in Serbia Aims to Improve Member Services with KnowHow

Since its establishment in 1998, the Association of Business Women in Serbia (ABW–Serbia) has provided business women with tools and support to expand their businesses, fulfill personal and economic goals, and contribute to the economic development of their local communities. The ABW-Serbia mission, “to strive for the continuous improvement of conditions for private businesses in the local communities in Serbia, by creating equal opportunities for those companies which are run by women and through promoting local, regional and international links among businesswomen and other relevant organizations”, is achieved through their various activities. Some of these activities include increasing the number of women start-ups, raising awareness and the visibility of women business owners, providing a forum for women entrepreneurs to network and exchange ideas, as well as promoting social responsibility and high standards of ethics in business.

Continue reading ‘The Association of Business Women in Serbia Aims to Improve Member Services with KnowHow’ »