It’s a big world for women business owners, and NAWBO has been expanding its reach and impact into other countries by taking delegations of NAWBO leaders to global events put on by partner organizations. In November and early December, delegations of women business owners have traveled to Rome, Nicaragua and India. Here’s what they experienced:
65th FCEM World Congress in Rome
Delegation: CEO Jen Earle, Institute Board Chair Teresa Meares and her daughter Kayla Meares, National Board Chair Elect Molly Gimmel, Karen Maples and Alma Kadragic
NAWBO’s delegation of women business owners were proud to represent the U.S. at November’s Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales (FCEM) World Congress in Rome, Italy, where they connected with women business owners from other countries to discuss the obstacles and opportunities women face and how to expand opportunities.
Attended by more than 800 delegates from more than 100 countries, including entrepreneurs, government representatives and business thought leaders, the Congress featured a meeting with Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi, a flash mob against violence toward women as well as several panels on the roles of women in leadership. NAWBO’s National Chair of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Development Board, Teresa Meares, participated in a panel discussion on women’s leadership in an open government.
“NAWBO National is proud to continue our partnership with FCEM and explore ways to work together to benefit women business owners,” says NAWBO National Board Chair Kathy Warnick. “As women business owners, we have so much to learn from each other. We are glad FCEM provides a global platform for women to do so.”
NAWBO will host the FCEM World Committee Meeting in New York City on April 12-14, 2018.
Opportunity International Insight Trip to Nicaragua
Delegation: CEO Jen Earle, National Board Chair Kathy Warnick and National Board Members Christina Morales Heaney and Loreen Gilbert
As part of NAWBO’s partnership with Opportunity International, a NAWBO delegation of women business owners took an “Insight Trip” to Nicaragua. They learned about the contributions women are making to their communities and country and helped local women business owners through the organizations’ shared belief that entrepreneurism can be a life changer for not only the women business owner, but also for so many around her.
Nicaragua’s economy is primarily focused on the agricultural sector. Despite ongoing effects of the Contra War in the 1980s, several recessions and natural disasters, a new sense of pride and confidence is driving the farmers and artisans toward progress. Even though Nicaragua remains one of the poorest countries in Central America, this sense of hope is inspiring its youth to learn how to support their families by starting income-generating businesses.
To bolster this hope, in 2005, Opportunity International launched the Nicaragua Community Economic Development Program to assist with community development from within by building upon local assets and investing in local economies. The program provides both individual and community-level investments to address sustainable solutions for entrepreneurs, their families and their communities.
The delegation experienced Opportunity International’s work firsthand through visits to clients’ places of business, the Emprendedora Technical School to learn about Opportunity’s innovative curriculum model designed specifically for rural communities, artisan workshops and more.
Click here to read the Nicaragua trip diary.
Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India
Delegation: National Board Member Shaila Rao Mistry and former National President Virginia Littlejohn
Two NAWBO delegates represented our leadership and organization at the eighth annual U.S. Government Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India, where they discussed and learned more about the global state of women entrepreneurs. In October, the annual NAWBO National Women’s Business Conference served as a stop on the Road to GES.
This year’s event highlighted the theme Women First, Prosperity for All. It focused on supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering economic growth globally. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to President Trump, headlined the U.S. delegation to the Summit.
“We look forward to hearing about the connections they make and the opportunities we may have to connect and support women business owners in other countries,” says National Board Chair Kathy Warnick. “NAWBO is committed to exporting any programs and ideas we may have that can be of benefit to other women entrepreneurs.”