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Investing in women business leaders: good for business, good for communities

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As business leaders, employees, consumers and entrepreneurs, women are accelerating the economic growth and improving the conditions of their communities.  Despite proven benefits of women's economic engagement, women business owners face disproportionate barriers to growing their business.  They have difficulty accessing business networks, technology, training, credit, markets and equal protection under the law.

Vital Voices Global Partnership, a leading non-governmental organisation that trains and empowers women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe is working to address this.

Through VV GROW, a year-long virtual and in-person fellowship program funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation, Vital Voices identifies high potential yet underserved women leading small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the cusp of growth.  They provide business leadership and skills training, strengthening the participants' decision-making power and connecting them to fellow business women, organisations, markets and opportunities to help them achieve personal and business growth.

By investing in the development of female business leaders, their SMEs grow, they employ more people and they and their business contribute to their communities.

This week, as part of their year-long fellowship, 23 women from 10 countries in the Middle East and North Africa will be participating in a four-day, practical, in-person training programme covering topics such as leadership, networking, business planning, understanding markets and executive financial management.  As part of the "Understanding Your Market" sessions, Euromonitor is providing the participants with access to our expertise and information.

Research is an essential part of finding, and maintaining, growth and success.  In an interconnected marketplace it is vital that business leaders are aware of and understand global trends.  We believe that with training and access to Euromonitor's market data the women business leaders will better comprehend the power of research to help them understand their target market, increase their sales and grow their businesses, enabling them to contribute more to their community.

Malini Patel, Senior Director, Middle East North Africa at Vital Voices, said "Vital Voices recognises the potential these women  have as not only business leaders, but community leaders as well.  We are commited to supporting their business growth aspirations as a means to spur economic growth and make a postivie impact in their communities.  It is through parternships with organisations such as Euromonitor that we together can reduce barriers for women business leaders."

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