Entrepreneurs are critical to economic growth and prosperity of any community across the world. The recent boost of entrepreneurship in Europe and Asia has led to launch of new enterprises and currently more and more young adults view entrepreneurship as a viable livelihood option. Yet most startups are run by men and often women are held back from launching or growing their companies due to a wide range of obstacles, for example a lack of entrepreneurial education, societal discrimination and stereotypes, lack of confidence and personal ability as well as lack of access to finances and a nurturing support system.
Despite the above mentioned obstacles preventing women to launch businesses, the past decade shows an increasing interest among women to take up entrepreneurship as a viable livelihood option. More than 126 million women entrepreneurs have started a new business in 67 economies in 2012, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report. The EU has had various actions to boost female startups since 2004, e.g. European Network of Female Entrepreneurship and other initiatives foreseen in the Commission’s 2008 Small Business Act, that has helped to encourage women launch businesses. It is critical to not only provide support and encourage women to become entrepreneurs but also and more importantly shift the focus on ensuring sustainability of the businesses run by women.
Considering gender diversity and women in business, Indian women mark the top of the list with 12.9% women CEOs, standing better than the average of the European region which is around 7.8% according to the IRC Global Executive Search Partners’ study “The DNA of CEOs . Although the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under Millennium Development Goals, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and inequality in the world of business across the world.
Make Room, Indian-European Social Change Ecosystem at the 2nd edition of the Changemakers’ Room Training Forum gathered enthusiastic and committed individuals from 14 nations across Asia and Europe to develop socially relevant interventions solving some of the most pressing contemporary issues. Currently a group representing the 2nd Changemakers’ Room is developing an international mobility project “Scaling Women-led Businesses: Generating opportunities to Grow”, committed to developing easily-replicable interventions scaling women-led micro-enterprises across India and Europe.
“The project works to contribute in achieving SDG 5 – to achieve gender equality and empower women, with focus on women micro-entrepreneurs. The project consortium consists of leading organisations working to ensure sustainability and scaling women-led businesses”, project coordinator Nidhi Pant explains.
According to Miks Celmiņš, Managing Director, Make Room Europe “The project aims at creating a nurturing, supportive environment for women micro-entrepreneurs, builds capacities as well as transforms societal understanding of women entrepreneurs”.
The project is developed as part of the Make Room Action Agenda for Change 2020 and is committed to develop 3 the following interventions:
1. Replicable Community Mobilisation model.
A structured, collaborative model involving civil society, private and the public sectors contributing to create a women-oriented support system to scale women-led businesses;
2. Capacity Building
An innovative ICT-based capacity building program aimed at unleashing full potential of women entrepreneurs;
3. Storytelling as a tool to raise awareness
To break the existing, discriminatory understanding of women in business.
Pranav Hebbar, Make Room India co-founder adds: “The developed interventions are planned to be open educational resources benefiting not only the official consortium of the project, but the sector at large. In order to create interventions benefiting maximum amount of individuals and organisations the project team is organising Open Forums across the country to gather inputs from the entrepreneurship ecosystem to build a solution that resonates with the actual needs”
Take part at the “Women in Business” Open Forum and contribute in ensuring interventions developed are beneficial to you! Read more here!
This project is a part of Action Agenda for Change 2020. The framework is led by Make Room and partner organisations from across Europe. Changemakers’ Room is about to have their next edition in Galatone, Italy, March, 2018. The event is inviting applications from passionate individuals, foundations, and NGOs to be a part of the forum.