Engines of Change: Thankful for Women Entrepreneurs

Dec 10, 2015 | Uncategorized

By Vicki Escarra, Global CEO, Opportunity International, as it appeared in Huff Post

You know the look. A quick flicker in a woman’s eye that reveals there was a darker piece of her story that she has turned into light. It’s the look I see each time I meet one of our clients at Opportunity International—women entrepreneurs around the globe who are working to send their children to school and reverse the cycle of poverty they were born into. They are the ones driving economic progress, improving gender equality and defining self-sufficiency for generations to come.

I never cease to be amazed at the resilience and positivity that accompany the entrepreneurial spirit. It is the same spirit shared by our partners the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), a group of inspiring women representing the 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. who are driving change within the workplace and growth in the U.S. economy. Recently, the NAWBO entrepreneurs gathered at their annual conference in San Antonio, and I’m certain the enthusiasm generated by nearly 1,000 women small business owners could be harnessed and used as an alternative energy source!

At the conference, entrepreneur and Opportunity Ambassador Bonnie St. John reflected on being a teenager and flipping through a catalogue for a premiere ski school. She became discouraged because there were no photos of people like her—African-American, low-income, an amputee. It suggested that she might not have a shot at becoming a professional skier after all. Her response? “This is impossible. I better get started.” Her journey was impossible by society’s standards, and she did get started right away. Bonnie went on to become the first African-American skier to medal in the Paralympics. That is the spirit of a woman entrepreneur.

Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-escarra/engines-of-change-thankfu_b_8591718.html?utm_hp_ref=impact&ir=Impact

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