Women entrepreneurs in emerging markets now have a new opportunity to apply for support from a network of over 46,000 entrepreneurs, coaches, and investors.
BiD Network has launched its Women in Business Challenge 2013, which is open to women in emerging markets with a viable business plan for a for-profit company with a positive social or environmental impact, which will require $10,000 to $1,000,000 over the next three years.
Those who make the April 30th deadline (click here to apply) will have a chance to become one of five finalists, who will win coaching, a business trip for training and meetings with investors and partners, customized training worth 5,000 EUR (US $6,500), and access to an international community of investors and experts through BiD Network, which helps prepare emerging market entrepreneurs for investors.
In August 2013, the finalists will be selected, and, following a four day “Women in Business” Week, the winners will be announced in an award ceremony.
At the start of the program, which is supported by ING and ICCO, only 17% of BiD Network’s members were women; since the launch of WIB, the program has supported 600 women and has grown its percentage to 35%.
This year, to boost the profile of women entrepreneurs, the challenge has launched a new series of Twitter discussions on the hashtag #WIBchat, to cover topics from the impact of women-led businesses to the value of networking.
Access to finance is a large challenge;a recent chat invited Value for Women, the IFC's SME Finance Forum, Fundación Capital and BiD Network entrepreneur Hellen Wandaka of Medilink Labs to discuss access to finance for women entrepreneurs; click here or the image below to see a Storify slideshow of the results.
The network also released a graphic revealing that only 1 in 10 entrepreneurs in impact investor portfolios worldwide are women.
While this graphic focuses on challenges in Latin America, it also reveals 5 ways that companies worldwide can work to create better environments for women, including collaborating with NGOs and networks like Oxfam and ANDE; here’s a summary (view the infographic below; click here or on the image for a larger version).
- Support women entrepreneurs to launch businesses with a social impact.
- Support women to improve financial literacy.
- Build in gender sensitivity training for investment managers and staff.
- Invest in coaching and long term programming.
- Be sensitive to family responsibilities and include childcare.