The Future is Women
“Now more than ever the world needs to unleash women’s entrepreneurship to make our economies and societies stronger,” Michelle Bachelet, United Nations Women’s Executive Director.
A study by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) concluded that for the first time in 13 years women are creating businesses at a greater rate than men in three economies and the rates are almost equal in four others.
In my Women's Incubation Service for Entrepreneurs (WISE) IT class, I work with women with an array of businesses - from a wedding dress shop to a sheep farm. The women are enthusiastic and desperate to learn so in turn they can improve their businesses. These women are breaking societal taboos to improve their lives as well the people around them. According to the GEM study, "there is growing evidence that women are more likely to reinvest their profits in education, their family and their community." These women entrepreneurs can eventually create jobs and contribute to the crippling economy, as over 1 in 5 people are unemployed in the West Bank and almost a third of youth (ages 15-24) are unemployed.
My women are interested to learn new methods on how to improve their business. Currently we are working on how social media can help their businesses grow and how new modern technology can help develop and take their business to the next level. TYO’s WISE Program helps provide a platform to facilitate the growth and sustainability of these businesses through seminars, classes, and trainings focused on:
- Marketing, including selling solutions and adding value to the market;
- Financial growth and access to capital;
- Advanced IT; and
- Business English.
WISE also helps facilitate mentor relationships that allow the participants to hone their networking skills and self confidence with regional and international experts. To improve economic development, investment in Women Entrepreneurship is paramount. As the GEM study shows, "women are more likely to start businesses with both social and economic goals, or hybrid ventures." It's time to start investing in women.
Danish is a TYO intern in Nablus.