Monday, January 12, 2009

Women in Business

There are quite a number of funding and micro finance opportunities targeted at women only. Helping women is in. Apart from being part of measures to address gender imbalances, many companies are keen to tap into the potential economic force that they represent.

New York Times examined this trend last December, profiling Goldman Sach's 10,000 Women initiative. As part of this initiative, Goldman Sachs is sponsoring Nigerian women for a four-month Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management program at the
Pan-African University in Lagos.

Visit the 10,000 Women website to read more about the program. I just realised that the latest round of applications ended on Friday, Jan 9. However, you can visit the Pan-African University website to learn about possible future opportunities.


Reg said...

I am a strong believer that women given the right help, they are a true force, but i am concerned that the help is not in anyway adequate, it seems the number of women that get the help is only a handful making it hard to stumble upon the cream, fake changes have are drummed up so as to make it look good on paper, the support given right now is not even 1/100 of whats needed till more is done, women will never get to the top.

Ore said...

Reg, you're right in saying that there are more women who need the help than get it. The worst scenarios are when the women who require the assistance the most, do not have access to it.

Working in development arena, I see that access to information is key because there are opportunities that you cannot access if you don't even know about it.

There are some interesting reports done by McKinsey and Goldman Sachs about the importance of women participating in business and other entrepreneurial activities.

Stephanie said...

Hi Ore.
Considering the fact that you have worked in the development arena, I was wondering what you thought about investing in female education, as opposed to female entrepreneurial activities.

I'm currently interning at a wonderful organization called Campaign for Female Education (Camfed), and I feel like education is a smarter approach to helping women globally.

Considering the huge disproportions in boy-girl ratio in most African schools, wouldn't it be a smarter choice to focus on giving every child access to schooling, as opposed to those who are lucky enough to have had access to primary school AND secondary school?

I'm only a sophomore in college, so I have a very limited understanding of the world's ills. However, most research that I have read indicates that the best investment the world can make right now is giving basic education to all, and particularly, girls.

Regardless, it obviously falls back on your statement that girls are in =) which is great. I would love to hear your opinion about my previous statement!

Ore said...

Hi Stephanie, I think women's education and their entrepreneurial activities are both important areas to invest in.

Access to education is a right of every human being, but one that many are not privileged to get. Education is a basic need that equips one to provide for their self, live within the society and take advantage of opportunities - and I believe, this includes opportunities to start and manage a business.

I personally feel that education is an important starting point for women, to be complemented in other ways.

However, another perspective is that having money determines the quality of your life, so helping women become financially empowered is key. Some organisations believe that a good life starts from good health, and so choose to focus on that.

I think what is important is that the work geared towards improving women's lives should complement each other.