Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development

New research indicates that women are leaving the corporate world at twice the rate of men. Many of these women are choosing to go into business for themselves. The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates that there are about 10.1 million privately-held women-owned firms in the United States, accounting for two out of every five businesses in the country. These firms generate $1.9 trillion in annual sales and employ 13 million people nationwide. In 1994, legislation was passed requiring the federal government to award a minimum of 5 percent of its contracts to women-owned businesses, a target that has never been met. There are currently no incentives, government departments or agencies tasked with enforcement and no consequences for failing to meet designated targets. Researchers in our network are working to improve guidelines and compliance to benefit women-run businesses.

"Power Unused is Power Useless" -- A Case for Gender Lens Investing

In her recent article, "A Case for Gender Lens Investing," NCRW Board Member Emerita Jacki Zehner poses the question, "When women hold so much economic power, why do we not use it more fully to drive positive change for our own sex and thereby for the world in general?"

Not one to leave you hanging, Zehner offers a few "educated guesses" based on her own experience as a philanthropist, finance professional, and investor. First, Zehner, suggests, we have become desensitized to the statistics that clearly demonstrate that gender inequality continues to be pervasive. Second, supporters of gender equality and women's empowerment have not framed these issues in a way that persuades people to change their financial behavior.

To read Zehner's full article, click here


 


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Looking to Women in America for Solutions

*By Kate Meyer

Last week Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, and Preeta Bansal, General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, hosted a White House Webchat to highlight findings from the recently released report Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being. Here at NCRW we were thrilled to see Jarrett and Bansal advocating for the same policies and programs that are on our agenda.


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The Dressmaker of Khair Khana - Author Series Event

Date/Time: 
03/21/2011

— AUTHOR SERIES EVENT —
THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA: FIVE SISTERS, ONE REMARKABLE FAMILY, AND THE WOMAN WHO RISKED EVERYTHING TO KEEP THEM SAFE
   
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Fellow and Women and Foreign Policy Program Deputy Director,
Council on Foreign Relations

Women's Foreign Policy Group Author Series: Gayle Lemmon on Afghanistan

Date/Time: 
03/21/2011

THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA
FIVE SISTERS, ONE REMARKABLE FAMILY, AND THE WOMAN WHO RISKED EVERYTHING TO KEEP THEM SAFE


In The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, journalist and author Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells the story of Kamela Sediqi, the unlikely breadwinner who became an entrepreneur in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Desperate to support her brothers and sisters and unable to earn a living outside the home, she started a dressmaking business in her living room which offered work to 100 women in her community. Together these unsung heroines made the difference between survival and starvation for their families under Taliban rule.

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