The 2015 Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard was launched as part of Dell’s Women Entrepreneur’s Network event in Berlin. The 31 country data driven study sponsored by Dell Inc and produced by ACG Inc identifies and benchmarks the gendered conditions that impede women from starting and growing their businesses. In addition, it provides actionable steps on how countries can improve the conditions for high impact women entrepreneurs starting tomorrow. No silver bullet exists since no single action, program or policy will level the playing field for women and a multifaceted approach is necessary including actions at the government, corporate, entrepreneur and individual levels. The Scorecard’s executive summary highlights several examples of entrepreneur leaders i.e. successful female business owners who leverage their talents, resources and networks to help other women entrepreneurs and actively contribute to creating a level playing field. Vicki Saunders, serial entrepreneur and founder of SheEO, is one of the trailblazers named among other well known female entrepreneur leaders such as Sarah Blakely, Tory Burch and others.
A few weeks later, Vicki Saunders launched a new initiative, Radical Generosity, which is one-part business competition and one-part unique funding model to make it easier for women-led businesses to get the financial support and advice they need. To create a fund for women entrepreneurs, Vicki is inviting professional women to donate $1,000 with the goal of 1,000 women contributing to a $1 million fund. Already 200 women have contributed. Next year, Vicki plans to expand this initiative internationally at the city level and includes Mumbai as one of the target cities.
During his recent trip to Kenya, President Barack Obama took the opportunity to highlight the importance of women as entrepreneurs in Africa. He announced a $500 million investment in creating three women entrepreneurship centers in the African countries of Kenya, Zambia, and Mali. He also identified women as powerhouse entrepreneurs and that when women entrepreneurs succeed, they drive economic growth and invest back into their families and communities. President Obama also stressed the need to address gendered attitudes that impede women from reaching their fullest potential and challenged traditions that discriminate against women saying: ‘Just because something is part of your past does not make it right’.