#DTDW: “We need to think beyond microenterprise”

June 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm Leave a comment

More from the Democracy that Delivers for Women Conference:

This morning’s panel featured three women with expertise in women’s entrepreneurship efforts, and all of them echoed the same sentiment: For women to move forward, the focus must move from microenterprise to mainstream small and medium businesses – and beyond. 

Selima Ahmad, President and Founder of the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry, offered a provocative question: “We need to give deep thought to micro entrepreneurs – are they part of the mainstream economy?”  She added, “We need to think beyond microenterprise.”

Mary Schnack of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) agreed: “Women don’t need to be sitting on a dirt floor to need help growing their businesses.”  Women who are already running businesses need additional skills to scale up, she noted.

Gayle Lemmon, author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khanna, identified access to markets and financing as the biggest obstacle to growing women’s businesses.  She noted that in countries where women cannot legally own property, they cannot get financing because they cannot offer collateral.

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#DTDW: “Business is the answer, not the problem” #DTDW: Live on Twitter

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