Archive for March 2009

Bangladesh Women’s National Business Agenda Is Launched

I am very happy to inform you that the Women’s National Business Agenda was launched by the finance minister and home minister and Bangladesh Bank governor as well. A special supplementary was published in the two national dailies. 700 participants–mostly women entrepreneurs from all over Bangladesh and even from remote Sidr-affected areas–participated in the event. All our members were the pillar for the success of this project and BWCCI is happy that we could bring all issues from the grassroots. I learned TV channels and print media already covered our event. I am attaching the online news.

Newspaper supplement about the Women’s National Business Agenda


Best, Selima

Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE) International Women’s Day Celebration

The theme of the celebration was “Women Arise: Use Entrepreneurship as a Tool for Economic Empowerment.” We decided on this theme because when a woman has a regular source of income, she becomes very confident and takes her own destiny into her own hands and her self esteem increases, this is empowerment!

Women entrepreneurs and women in business used the occasion to raise awareness to the need for promoting “Entrepreneurship” as a Tool for attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).GAWE International Women's Day Walk
The walk was to advocate for a week every year to be observed as “WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS WEEK” to be celebrated every first week in June, beginning June 3RD – 9TH, 2009; All African women entrepreneurs and women in business to join us to institutionalize this event. We also created awareness for local participation in the Fourth Global Women Entrepreneurs Trade Fair and Investment Forum scheduled for JULY 23 – AUGUST 2, 2009.

Read more about the celebration.

Lucia Quachey
President GAWE

99th International Women’s Day Mega Event, Kathmandu

Realizing the importance of networking among South Asian women entrepreneurs, a three day event focusing on “Solidarity of South Asian Women for peace, prosperity and a progressive society” was organized on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The three day event drew participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This event was a platform for women from all seven countries to come together as a unified force to honor and celebrate achievements in solidarity.

Read the event details and outcomes.

Pramila Acharya Rijal
President, Federation of Women Entrepreneurs’ Associations of Nepal

Trade Fair InaugurationPresident of NepalWalkathon

Commercial Loans for Pakistani Women Entrepreneurs

“At the CIPE’s business policy roundtable on Women Entrepreneurship Development held in January 2007, one of the major impediments for women entrepreneurs identified by the participants was the ability to access finance through banking channels.”

Read Hammad Siddiqui’s update on expanding access to finance in Pakistan, posted on the CIPE Development Blog.

Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conducted the 8th Women Lifestyle Exhibition in Lahore, Pakistan

Under the patronage of the first lady of Pakistan, Mrs Fouzia Gilani, Central and North Punjab Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CNPWCCI) strikes again with the 8th Women Lifestyle exhibition. Central and North Punjab Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry (CNPWCCI) organized the 8th Women Lifestyle Exhibition on 24th – 25th February, 2009 at Pearl Continental Hotel Lahore. It was a big success.

The 8th Women Lifestyle Exhibition provided the women entrepreneurs and business associates across Pakistan an experience sharing attitude with positive working in specific areas of businesses under the umbrella of CNPWCCI. There were around 65 stalls beautifully decorated as there is always a tough competition to win award for the best layout. The exhibitors were dress designers, embroideries from Bahalwalpur, Multan, D.G.Khan, D.IKhan, Islamabad, NWFP, Home Liner, Islamic Books, Hand made stationary, handicraft, Home Decoration, Synergy drinking water, Health Tea, Women Health Pharmaceuticals products, Artificial Jewelry, Chen-One, Youth Parliament, Event management Companies, Clay artisans, Banks, Pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies promoted products on women health issues such as obesity and bone disease. The pharmaceutical companies Help desks were set up throughout the hall. The corporate sectors that got involved were Bank of Punjab and Alfalah Bank. The banks promoted their SME products in a friendly environment of the exhibition. Continue reading ‘Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conducted the 8th Women Lifestyle Exhibition in Lahore, Pakistan’ »

Barbara Barrett Visits the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania (CAFA)

March 4th, 2009, was a special day for the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania (CAFA). Not only because we are talking about the week in which we celebrate women around the globe, what made this day very special was the fact that Barbara Barrett, former CIPE Board member and a close supporter of CAFA, visited Romania for one day, and in that short time she included CAFA in her very tight schedule.

Barbara Barrett (6th from right) and Camelia Bulat (5th from left)Barbara Barrett witnessed the creation and evolution of CAFA; she participated in 2004 in the Annual Meeting of the Women Entrepreneurs in Romania supported by CIPE, when she talked about leadership and will, about dedication and determination. Her speech in front of more than 100 Romanian businesswomen reached these ladies at the right time, just after the creation of CAFA, the Coalition of Women Business Associations. Continue reading ‘Barbara Barrett Visits the Coalition of Women Business Associations in Romania (CAFA)’ »

Women’s Business Associations in South Asia: A CIPE Report

As promised, to commemorate International Women’s Day the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) has released the first in a series of reports on the state of women’s business associations around the world. For individual women entrepreneurs to overcome the challenges facing them, they can take collective action through business associations to change the business environment. CIPE is proud to feature the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), a partner since 2005. BWCCI — headed by CWE member Selima Ahmad — provides a number of valuable services to its members, but most importantly is a leader in grassroots advocacy. Learn some of the techniques and lessons from BWCCI’s advocacy program in this report. Some of the highlights so far:

  • The Bangladesh Bank issued a circular to its constituent banks to earmark 10 percent of its aggregate SME loan funds for female entrepreneurs at a lower interest rate, collateral free.
  • The Bangladesh Bank issued a second circular that requested commercial banks and financial institutions open a desk for women entrepreneurs and that this be run by a female officer.

Please join me in congratulating Selima and BWCCI.

Read the report: Women’s Business Associations, Experiences from Around the World: South Asia

2009 Business Training Programme of the Women Business Center

We have the pleasure to present the 2009 Business Training programme for business women and aspiring women entrepreneurs.

The objective of this training is to provide an opportunity for potential women entrepreneurs and business owners to gain innovative entrepreneurial skills, financial capacity, sharing of knowledge, skills training, and enterprise development in order to help them access market, networking and business opportunities.

Read the details on the training workshops.

Women Arise!

Dear all,

GAWE celebrates international women’s day under the theme: “Women Arise! Use Entrepreneurship as Tool for Economic Empowerment”

The activity takes off from Kwami Nkrumah Circle, walk through Kwami Nkrumah Avenue to High Street and ends opposite the Old Parliament House. Since the day falls on a Sunday, we will have it on Saturday 7th March, 2009. It is also to formally launch the fourth global, the women entrepreneurs week/ msme’s week.

There will placards with these writings:
GAWE connecting women for self-employment
WOMEN! We build nations;
We create employment no matter how small;
We reduce poverty;
We give life.

We do not want to fight the system, we want to build new one. We send report after the event.


International Women’s Day

Are you preparing for any big events to commemorate International Women’s Day? The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) is preparing a new release (but I can’t tell you what it is yet–you’ll have to watch for it…)

If you have thoughts or activities related to Women’s Day and entrepreneurship, please comment or submit a post. (Contact if you need help with that.)