Archive for November 2012

Exploring Women’s Entrepreneurship in India

As part of a multi-country study undertaken by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Ms. Hina Shah in India is conducting a national study on “Creating an Enabling Environment for Women’s Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship.”  Although India has recently been labeled as one of the best places for women entrepreneurs to start a business, women entrepreneurs only make up about 10% of total SMEs.

To explore the reasons behind this slow growth of women’s entrepreneurship and contribute to the ESCAP study, Ms. Shah is disseminating a survey for women entrepreneurs in India.  The research tool is designed to profile women entrepreneurs in India and the constraints they face.  The results will feed into the Indian component of the UN study and also help shape policy recommendations aimed at creating a more enabling environment for women’s entrepreneurship in India.

If you are a female entrepreneur in India, please take a few moments to complete the survey by clicking here.  The completed form should be sent to Ms. Hina Shah at icecdindia@gmail.com. Your response is now requested by November 29.

Women Owned Businesses in Jamaica

Yaneek Page is president of the Women Business Owners (WBO) association in Jamaica.  WBO was founded in 2003 to foster and promote the success of women business owners through education, research, mentorship and education.

In 2005-2006 Women Business Owners (WBO) Jamaica completed a study of women and family owned business in Jamaica (the survey counted 2,916 family-owned businesses (FOBs) and 1,718 owned by women (WOBs)). The study was done in partnership with the Jamaica Conference Board, the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Ltd., the United States Agency for International Development and Mona School of Business at the University of the West Indies. The themes covered in the study included the business characteristics, business leadership, business relationships, succession and resource planning, and governance and citizenship. The key findings from the study were:

  •  There were 315 operations categorised as both FOBs and WOBs, largely based on the uncertainty of respondents attached to those businesses.
  • The highest number of FWOBs, approximately 1,512, was recorded in the Kingston and St. Andrew metropolitan area, skewed 60 per cent to FOBs; followed by St. Catherine with 1,308; and St. Ann with 449.

Building on this report, WBO has recently launched a program with Scotiabank Jamaica and the Inter-American Development Bank to support businesswomen who seek to grow their enterprises.  Under the new endeavor, Scotiabank has set aside J$300 million for members of WBO who need working capital, re-tooling of processes, upgraded technology, and other investments needed for growth.

The executive summary which is reproduced here, details in point form the main findings of the study: Continue reading ‘Women Owned Businesses in Jamaica’ »

Women Entrepreneurs Mark Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan

Originally posted on the CIPE Development Blog

The Peshawar Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PWCCI) celebrated Global Entrepreneurship Week with an event held in partnership with CIPE and the Kauffman Foundation on November 15. More than 50 students and lecturers from various Peshawar universities gathered to discuss both the hurdles facing women entrepreneurs in Pakistan, as well as the reasons why the Peshawar region lags behind other parts of the country in producing entrepreneurs. Speaking at the event, PWCCI Vice President Shamama Arbab noted that while young people in Pakistan have no lack of potential, a challenging business climate makes it difficult for them to harness their skills and capabilities.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Index, Pakistan lags in the number of start-ups, with less than half the rate of early-stage entrepreneurial activity than comparable countries. CIPE Pakistan Deputy Country Director Hammad Siddiqui commented that young Pakistani graduates tend to seek employment in multinationals after graduation, rather than considering the option of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, he noted, “To turn around Pakistan’s economy, women need to participate in the mainstream, including by starting their own businesses.”

During the discussion it was stressed that business development centers should be established to incubate new firms, and that chambers and associations can play a key role in mentoring students who are considering entrepreneurship, as well as new entrepreneurs. The participants emphasized that the government should promote an entrepreneurial culture, and universities should introduce entrepreneurship in the curriculum. The student also noted that the media can play a role in encouraging young people to make their careers in business.

For more information about this event, as well as another event marking Global Entrepreneurship Week in Pakistan held in conjunction with the Young Entrepreneurs’ Forum at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, please see more on the Business Support Organization Forum, an online resource for Pakistani chambers.