Last week Huffington Post published an article indicating that "Enabling Women Entrepreneurs" could be the key to repairing the global economy.
The article written by Dr. Noeleen Heyzer and Ms. Dina Habib Powell stated:
"Women entrepreneurs are rising partners in the regional charge to build economies and create jobs. The proportion of women employers in Asia and the Pacific nearly tripled between 1991 and 2010, with the greatest gains in South and South-West Asia.
Yet, too often the collective ambition of this growing population of women entrepreneurs is checked by discriminatory policies, business practices and social barriers that block equal access to critical inputs - namely assets, credit, information, skills and time. As a result, women-owned enterprises are consistently smaller than men-owned equivalents and concentrated in less profitable sectors.
Barriers for business owners mirror broader limits on women in the workplace. Today, women's labor market participation in Asia-Pacific still lingers at 62 women for every 100 men. At all levels of employment, women are clustered in sectors and jobs that limit their mobility and restrict them to low productivity and informal or vulnerable employment.
These barriers come at a high cost for women, and for our economies."
Full article found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noeleen-heyzer/post_5484_b_3817481.html
Since starting out in 1996, The Women's Organisation (then called Train 2000 Ltd.) have strongly promoted the need for gender focussed enterprise support.
CEO Maggie O'Carroll warns decision makers not to underestimate the "multi-billion pound opportunity which growth from female-led enterprises can bring to the economy", joining with other key organisations across the UK to form the Women's Enterprise Policy Group (WEPG UK) to hi-light the key measures needed.
The Women's Enterprise Policy Group published a report in 2011 ‘A Multi Million £ Opportunity – The Untapped Growth Potential of UK Women Entrepreneurs’ in which the group calls for a range of measures including:
• Appointment of a women’s enterprise champion within government to raise awareness of economic benefits of encouraging more women to start and grow businesses
• Investment in business growth programmes for existing female entrepreneurs
• Doubling the number of women entrepreneurs using mentors and/or networking opportunities by promoting activities amongst networking groups
• Assisting local enterprise partnerships and local authorities to develop business support and economic development policies and strategies which optimise women’s enterprise in their localities
• Ensuring current university and further education support is attractive and useful to young women, closing the gap between the numbers of young men and young women starting businesses
The Women’s Enterprise Policy Group report highlights that there are more than 700,000 women-owned businesses operating across the nation in every sector and their role in growing the economy, and creating and sustaining new jobs, is crucial to recovery and growth.
To find out more about WEPG visit www.womensenterprisepolicygroup.com and for more ifnormation on the services The Women's Organisation are offering directly to budding female entrepreneurs visit www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk