Archive for the ‘Business’ Category.

Regional Center for Organization Management Hosted Balkan Women Coalition Seminar and Workshop in Bucharest, Romania

The Regional Center for Organization Management (RCOM) has recently hosted in Bucharest, Romania a seminar and a workshop of the Balkan Women Coalition.

The events were organized with support from the European Union, through the Grundtvig Lifelong Learning Programme, as part of project titled: “Balkan Women Coalition for Professional Qualification and Training in the Field of Business and Economic Science”.

Women entrepreneurs and managers, representatives of business associations and companies from seven countries in the Balkan Region attended the two Balkan Women Coalition events. The participants came from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.  

The seminar „New Opportunities in Business and Development” took place at the Uzinexport Business Center in Bucharest on March 18-19. Topics on the agenda included changes in the business environment and consumer profile, the importance of analyzing markets correctly, the elements of a business plan, the importance of organizational culture in developing companies, cooperation versus competition and the impact of the global market: local versus global companies.

The workshop “Women Entrepreneurs and Their Role in Promoting Corporate Governance” was held on March 20-21. The participants had the opportunity to discuss, exchange views and learn more about corporate governance principles, Board of Directors’ roles and responsibilities, methods and tools that can be used to evaluate the Boards’ performance, corporate governance as an antidote to corruption and what women entrepreneurs and associations can do to promote corporate governance.

The Regional Center for Organization Management (RCOM) is a Romanian foundation that was created in 2007 by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).

E-Commerce Empowerment Solution for Women around the Globe

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 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 offers. Continue reading ‘E-Commerce Empowerment Solution for Women around the Globe’ »

A New Secretarial Mandate for the Coalition of Women’s Business Associations (Romania)

Created in 2004 with CIPE support, the Coalition of Women’s Business Associations (Romania) has built a sound reputation for itself over the years, and is now acknowledged as a credible partner in the public-private dialogue on economic policy-making. The Coalition has a rotating secretariat and 2011 marks the beginning of a new secretarial mandate, which has been conferred upon the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Romania, which is based in the city of Galati.

The members of the Coalition hosted a ceremony in order to celebrate the occasion. Through its President, Elena Cismaru, the Association of Women Managers in Valcea handed over the mandate to the Association of Women Entrepreneurs in Romania, represented by President Gabriela Chiriac.  The participants engaged in discussions about the Coalition’s activity in 2010, its plans for 2011, as well as a number of imminent amendments to the Romanian Labor Code.

Continue reading ‘A New Secretarial Mandate for the Coalition of Women’s Business Associations (Romania)’ »

Global Glass Ceiling

What can multinational corporations do to encourage women in business, and how can companies benefit from women’s empowerment? Isobel Coleman looks at these questions in Foreign Affairs,The Global Glass Ceiling: Why Empowering Women is Good for Business.”

“Some companies already promote initiatives focused on women as part of their corporate social responsibility programs…. But the truly transformative shift… will occur when companies understand that empowering women in developing economies affects their bottom lines.”

Companies are incorporating women-owned businesses into supply chains, offering microcredit to distributors (Hindustan Unilever), or teaching literacy and workplace skills (Walmart). Coleman’s five-point plan includes an innovative recommendation for companies to support local organizations that help women, for example by extending their access to property rights. Along these lines, CIPE is coordinating the provision of skills and advice to women’s business associations and similar organizations. Women’s associations in turn provide important services to their members, help new entrepreneurs get started, and provide a credible voice for women entrepreneurs.

Continue reading ‘Global Glass Ceiling’ »

Gender Diversity in Corporate Boards in Pakistan

Historically, corporate boards in many countries have been comprised mainly of men.  A number of European market regulators are considering imposing quotas of women on the boards of publicly traded companies as a requirement in the new Code of Corporate Governance, and this is likely to compel business to consider gender diversity of corporate boards.

A report published by the Institute of Employment Studies notes that, “Despite long-standing anti-discrimination legislation in the US, UK and across Europe, women still remain under-represented in many occupations, most noticeably in high-level posts.  This phenomenon is seen at its most extreme when the composition of company boards is considered.  In the USA, woman constitute on average 14.7 per cent of board members on Fortune 500 companies; in the UK, women hold 11 per cent of FTSE 100 directorships, according to the 2008 Sex and Power report published by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission.”

Read the rest of the article on gender diversification in Pakistani Corporate Boards.

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A Time for Women in Kosovo

Mirlinda Kusari, Executive Director of She-Era, at the CIPE Headquarters in Washington, DC.

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.

Continue reading ‘A Time for Women in Kosovo’ »

Connect to Empower — Maghrebi Women in the Private Sector

Maghrebi women have come a long way in terms of pushing for political, social and economic reform, integrating their participation in decision-making, creating enterprises, and making investments. However, they still have a long way to go in terms of maximizing their contributions to the private sector and using entrepreneurship as a means to overcome cultural and social barriers among women.

Entrepreneurial women in the Maghreb still represent a small proportion of the total population, and are divided over cultural, socioeconomic, and even linguistic lines. Whether it is an illiterate woman running a small home-based sewing business or a female fashion designer who graduated from France’s L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National Advanced School of Fine Arts), Maghrebi women are united despite such divisions by the goal to contribute to their own households and their country, and to use business opportunities to improve their own situation and build a better future for the region…

Read the full article about women in the Maghreb and their role in the private sector.

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Empowering Women Through Business

“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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Women in the Lead

The event “Femeia conduce!” (literally, “The woman leads!”), which will take place on Dec. 15, is what Financiarul (“The Financial”) newspaper calls “the most important event dedicated to women entrepreneurship”. This is not too surprising given that the newspaper is one of the organizers, the other being the foundation “Mereu aproape” (literally, “Always close by”).

Nonetheless, this is a significant event if we think that the organizers are affiliated with one of the main press trusts in Romania. The event is part of a campaign designed to promote and encourage young women’s involvement in top management. Also, the first edition of a special calendar will be launched, with funding from one of the most active banks on the Romanian market. What makes the calendar special is that it features the most successful 12 businesswomen of the year 2009. The calendar is a limited edition and can only be acquired by online auction, on the website of the organizing newspaper.

The campaign receives active support from “The Businesswomen’s Club”, which gathers some of the most important women managers in Romania. The Club also aims to hold an annual project competition open to all young women. The winner of the competition will be offered membership in the club and will receive support and guidance in achieving her own goals.

Paula Anastasiade
Program Assistant
CIPE Regional Office (Bucharest, Romania)

Empowering Rwandan Women in Business

USAID’s Office of Women in Development and the BizCLIR project have released a report on the business environment for women in Rwanda. The report “identifies opportunities that can stimulate the country’s broader reform efforts with the ultimate goal of poverty reduction. In Rwanda, a common quote among stakeholders was ‘Poverty has a female face.’ Our evaluation provides the key areas for improvement for women as the country attempts to improve its position in the global economy, achieve the targets of Vision 2020, and takes advantage of the new East Africa common market. The report provides the Mission and other interested parties with an in-depth description of the key recommendations for change.”

Chapters include: institutional strengthening, entrepreneurial education and training, access to finance, and access to markets.

Read the report: “Rwanda: Investing in the Empowerment of Women in Business

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