Special days are tribute oriented. They also act as reminders permitting recognition and rededication. Here comes a day to justifiably celebrate Women Entrepreneurship and that is Woman’s Day!
Women Entrepreneurship Day, founded by Wendy Diamond, is a day on which the work of women entrepreneurs is observed and discussed held on the nineteenth of November of each year. Wendy was engaged in volunteering with the Adelante foundation that provides microcredit to low income women in Hoduras. On return to the US she decided to dedicate herself to women entrepreneurship. The celebration was first held on 19th November, 2014 in 144 countries. This was described by Fortune Magazine as an endeavor to mobilize a global network of female business owners, entrepreneurs and change makers to support and empower the community of women entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The well known global consulting firm McKinsey recently released a report titled ‘The Power of Parity’. This report treats the challenge of gender equality from a different perspective. It has devoted efforts to the issue of women engagement in economic activity and assigns ‘toll’ of non-inclusion of women in terms of the ‘lost’ contribution to national outputs. It is one more confirmatory reminder of the continuous cost that we all are paying for this collective failure. Encouraging, facilitating and celebrating women entrepreneurship is one definite response to meet this challenge.
Women aptly fit into the description of being an entrepreneur – ‘Opportunity Driven and Not Resource Constrained’. They are well-known to optimize on available resources in any setting and constantly seek out for avenues on the various fronts. Again, women entrepreneurs are more likely to create employment avenues for other women thus further contributing to economic inclusion of women. So the call is to escalate this solid premise.
Several leading organizations are actively promoting women entrepreneurship. To recount a few: Goldman Sachs carried out a celebrated ‘10000 Women Entrepreneurs’ global programme providing relevant development inputs to enterprising women. Grameen Bank in Bangladesh continues to do pioneering work in promoting women entrepreneurship at grass-root level. In India, SEWA is indulging in similar outstanding work.
McKinsey report identifies six areas for gender inclusion in economic activity. The more important ones are Capacity Building and Developing Appropriate Attitude (cultivating mind-set). These are eminently relevant for supporting enterprising women too.
On this day, initiating an active participation by development oriented individuals towards capacity building and mind-set framing in enterprising women will be a fitting tribute to this gender that collectively ‘holds half the sky’! Even small steps at individual level will make a huge impact in the aggregate.
LET US BEGIN!