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Lana Larder of The NextWomen considers the importance of identifying and protecting your company’s most valuable assets, discussing the issue with Mary Juetten, founder of Traklight, a software product which helps business owners protect their ideas.

More innovative financing options, such as crowdfunding, are now available to entrepreneurs worldwide. A new breed of entrepreneurs is emerging.

Akosua Dardaine Edwards, founder of the Enabling Enterprise Project, examines some of the recent trends within entrepreneurship, considering the rise in female entrepreneurs, the increasing and more innovative financing methods available, and the rise of social entrepreneurship.

Over the last decade, entrepreneurship has come to the fore, not simply as a means of job creation and reviving the economy, but also as a means of introducing new ways of thinking and problem solving. Some experts have also suggested that entrepreneurship ought to be a way of life.

Singapore is fast becoming recognised as a gateway to the rest of Asia by businesses looking to grow globally. John McHugh, Property Marketing Manager at MAG Property the property and development arm of leading UK airport operator Manchester Airports Group, talks to The NextWomen about some of the best business cities in the world, and what they offer to the business owners who decide to locate their companies within them.











This week, innovation is on top of the agenda in Amsterdam. First, the European Commission, lead in this instance by Neelie Kroes has awarded European the most successful companies the Europioneers Prize.

Saddled between Asia’s power houses India and China, bordering tumultuous Iran and Afghanistan, Pakistan is incredibly heterogeneous with over 70 local dialects, an array of religions and disparate ethnicities.

From religious extremism that threatens termination of girls’ education, to winning the Oscars (Saving Face, directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, won Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2012), Pakistani women here live in an immensely complex irony of disparate identities. Their women leaders, both established and emerging, and sometimes unrecognized, are indeed fascinating.

Consider Jehan Ara, President of the internationally recognized Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA). She is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities.

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The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme.

Joan Ahisimbwe sensed trouble when she heard her brother-in-law planned to inherit her. Her husband had died from HIV, which she’d soon learn he passed to her before his death. Following Ugandan tradition, his brother had a right to take a widow as a second or third wife. The idea of belonging to this alcoholic, abusive man was terrifying, so with her two small children she fled to a Kampala slum, where she struggled to provide even one meal a day.

Weak with HIV symptoms, Joan still mustered the energy to work tirelessly making mud bricks and earning less than $1 a day.

The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme.

Divine Ndhlukula is the founder and MD of DDNS Security Operations, the holding company for SECURICO SECURITY SERVICES. 

She was named one of the most successful women in Africa by Forbes and recently deemed the 'Queen of the security industry in Zimbabwe' by BBC World. Her company is the largest employer of women – currently ranking 900th in Zimbabwe outside of the civil service - having grown her business to over 3600 employees. 

Her astute leadership has turned SECURICO into one of the leading security organisations in Zimbabwe. This success in a male dominated industry saw her winning several leadership awards including the Empretec Entrepreneur of the Decade (2003), Zimbabwe Institute of Management Manager of the Year (2005), and Zimbabwe Institute of Directors' Director of the Year (2008).

Divine champions for women's economic and social empowerment and is a member of several voluntary organisations that seek to empower women. She has an honorary MBA from Women’s University in Africa in recognition of her accomplishments and work in gender equality initiatives in business.

We spoke to Divine about breaking into the male dominated industry of security; her views on entrepreneurialism in Africa and how she has contributed to female empowerment in business! 

The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme

“In a world of GLASS CEILING SMASHERS, {Golden Girl finance founders}, Misner and MacDonald are two blondes investing in total architchetical overhaul.”' Dolce Vita Magazine.

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is the founder and editor-in-chief of IQ4NewsThe NextWomen Africa Theme.

Dr Yemisi Akinbobola is the founder and editor-in-chief of IQ4News, a collaborative platform for news on Africa, which publishes reports from professional journalists alongside those of citizen journalists, journalism students, bloggers and field experts.

Besides her work at IQ4News, Yemisi is a visiting lecturer at Birmingham City University and a freelance writer for the United Nations Africa Renewal magazine, which provides up-to-date information and analysis of the major economic and development challenges facing Africa today. Originally from Ondo State, Nigeria, she holds a PhD in Media from Birmingham City University and currently lives in the UK with her husband and their 7-month old daughter. 

We spoke with Yemisi about the news story of which she's most proud; about the challenges facing female entrepreneurs in Africa; and the causes which are closest to her heart.