Last weekend, more than 1000 thought leaders came together to discuss the Economy and Society from a female perspective. Unlike the Davos Global Forum, in Deauville powerful women are in the majority at the fifth international Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. Its motto is:
"Think again, think ahead! It is time for action, change and hope".
There were many international speakers unveiling their ideas on politics, entrepreneurship, economics; a lot of the time about the effects of the financial crisis, but also on the chances and opportunities that it brings. Among the speakers - 17 Rising Talents of 2009 - was Founder of Smarta, Shaa Wasmund.
Some conclusions from the forum were:
Women are Hit Hard by the Financial Crisis
It may be that women-led hedge funds have performed better in the financial crisis than hedge funds run by men - as was one of the conclusions of a Report launched at the Women's Forum - and yet women and girls in poor countries have been hit the hardest by the implosion of banks thousands of miles away.
The developed world has received far more funding to combat the crisis, in comparison to that received by the worlds poorest countries. As a result, women now need similarly large-scale solutions, including access to capital and to larger markets, to combat the crisis.
"The ground has shifted beneath the feet of our business models and social and economic policies”, explains Founder and CEO Aude Zieseniss de Thuin. "The Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society views moments of rupture like this as an opportunity to advance new ideas, technologies and even paradigms for society and the economy. With their male counterparts, women have a key role to play in the process of creating a more resilient future," the Founder of the Women’s Forum said.
Empowering Women makes Financial Sense
Discussed at great length, was the idea that empowering women economically is not just a matter of fairness, but of financial sense.
UNDP in Papua New Guinea and the Australian Government recently launched an extraordinary venture, first of its kind in PNG – the Kumul GameChangers – to support for-profit impact enterprises in PNG. Keeping entrepreneurs at the core, the venture recognizes that for entrepreneurs and their innovations, the knowledge and capital required for their success need to come together so that this emerging cadre of GameChangers can accelerate solutions to the national challenge of exclusion and fractured development.
Every week we will be publishing an interview with one of our female internet heroes in order for you to MEET interesting women. READ about their WORK, THINK about how they PLAY the internet industry and see how you MATCH them. Be inspired!Judy Gibbons is this week's interviewee.
Judy Gibbons has been in the internet and technology sector since the early days of online. She worked for big companies such as HP, Apple and Microsoft, launching the latter's MSN business in the UK, something she calls ‘ highly entrepreneurial'. She then went on the become MSN Corporate VP in charge of all 40 of MSN's global businesses and US sales & Marketing. Two years ago, realising that she wanted to do something with new technology in the consumer internet sector, she got involved as a VC with Venture Capital Firm Accel, investing in technology businesses. At the moment, she is CEO of one of Accel's ‘high hopes' Mippin, a company that, through enabling mobile content, is at the forefront of the emerging mobile internet. Judy shared her career experiences with the nextwomen, told us why she is convinced Mippin is the ‘next big thing' and what's next for her.
Accel invested in Mippin two years ago, today you are the company's CEO, why did you get involved with them?
The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme
In India, there is no shortage of talented female social entrepreneurs. Women like Ela Bhatt, who in 1972 founded SEWA, the world’s first and largest trade union for undocumented women workers, as well as Women’s World Banking in 1979 - have been inspiring and leading women for generations.
Hina Shah, founder of The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), has worked for over 25 years on scaling micro, small, and medium size businesses across 21 states of India.
New technology has allowed website owners to gain abetter understanding of WHO their users are and WHAT their users are actually looking for. The result is an amazing amount of rich information that can be used in many ways.
Cultural differences and different languages can be challenging when leading a team remotely. Whether your team is based over different continents or all over the world, your communication skills will help you to keep your people motivated at all times.
As a manager of a multi-cultural and international team of people your understanding of their culture, their clients and the way of doing business in their part of the world is your key to success.
Part of our January Theme of 'Africa', 'Journey to Success' is a series of interviews conducted by entrepreneur Thuli Sibeko to share the startup stories of South African entrepreneurial women who are creating successful businesses.
The first interview is with Bontle Matlou, Founder and CEO at Lentle and Associates.
"Growing up, I hated statements such as “money goes to the moneyed” or “Leaders are born and not made” because I was not born into a rich family and I just was not going to accept that.
Being small in stature, I never saw myself as a leader and struggled with it and could not accept it".
“I am that child that was brought up by the African village and have drawn from all those positive experiences and it was easy to choose different definitions of success.”
Dr. Kahlila Lawrence is the owner of Care for You Consulting which specializes in assisting people, primarily women, to achieve their best potential holistically. Dr. K offers individual as well as group coaching, speaking, webinars on self-care and self-esteem and nutrition consultation. For more information visit Dr. Lawrence on the web as well as download your FREE Health News E -Book.
The NextWomen Europe Theme.
Simona Sandru from the Romania Association of Women in Business interviews their Founder Alice Botnarenco about the startup scene in Romania; the realities of being a woman in business there; and five female business heroes who inspire the region's female business ecosystem.
Alice Botnarenco, the founder of the Romanian Women in Business Association and owner of a rent-a-car company, made a bold step into entrepreneurship in 2003, believed in the power of momentum and succeeded in achiving business excellence. Fueled by her passion for cars, Alice took her first steps into the automotive industry in 2003, when she set up her rent-a-car company. She seized a need of the market and took advantage of it.
“She was the right person in the right place at the right time.”