Want to Change the World? Let Girls Lead

By Kathy Calvin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation

“I want to serve the people. And I want every girl, every child, to be educated.” These are the powerful words of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenage girl who was shot by the Taliban last year when returning home from school.
When it comes to addressing the needs and rights of adolescent girls worldwide, there is no better advocate than girls themselves.

This week, approximately 100 American girls have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Girl Up Leadership Summit, where they are encouraging policymakers to prioritize adolescent girls in the global agenda. And next week, girls from around the world will come together in Russia as part of the G(irls)20 Summit to make recommendations to G20 leaders about how to empower girls. These girls are socially aware, globally engaged, and a force to be reckoned with!

The simple truth is that girls around the world know better than anyone what they need to lead safe, healthy, happy, and productive lives. The job for the rest of us is to listen to them and to create a world where every girl has the chance to realize her promise.

Why is this task so important? Because a healthy, educated, empowered adolescent girl has the unique potential to break the cycle of poverty.

A growing body of data and studies have shown that supporting girls and women – promoting their education, their health and safety, their right to plan their families, and more – correlates with healthier families, higher family incomes, economic development, and environmental sustainability. All of this promotes more productive and stable communities and countries, benefiting us all.

But here’s the challenge: while girls have the potential to change the world, in many places they don’t always get the chance.

Right now, millions of adolescent girls are forced to marry young, drop out of school, and carry the burden of household chores – depriving them of educational and economic opportunities. They are at risk of physical and sexual abuse. And they are often denied the right and tools to plan their families.

Once condemned to the shadows, these injustices are starting to get the attention they deserve. Girls around the world are demanding change, and a growing movement – including the UN Foundation, the Nike Foundation, UN agencies, and others – is joining them.

As this movement grows, we’re seeing progress: more girls are in primary school than ever before; maternal and child deaths are no longer commonplace or acceptable in many countries where new practices are implemented; and thanks to the voices of American girls and many others, the recent reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act included new provisions to make ending child marriage in developing countries an official foreign policy priority of the U.S. government.

While we’re making progress, we have more work to do. We need to increase investments in girls, protect their rights, prioritize them on the global agenda, and importantly, listen to them, respond to their needs, and engage them in international development efforts.

As I’ve met girls around the world, it’s become clear to me that they are the most powerful agents for change on the planet. So let’s make sure they have the chance to unleash their potential. It’s the right thing to do for girls and for the world.Kathy Calvin is President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation. Her career has spanned work in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is a passionate advocate for multi-sector problem-solving, U.S. leadership on global issues, and the inclusion of women at all levels and in all sectors

A challenge for lady entrepreneurs

By Miguel R. Camus
Philippine Daily Inquirer

lady-entrepreneurs
ILLUSTRATION BY STEPH BRAVO

A boot camp might conjure up images of tasks that require participants to survive the most physically and mentally demanding activities in preparation for military service. That’s unlikely to be the case for The Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 2013 (YWEB) coming up late September but the stakes remain just as high, officials of the groups behind the advocacy say.

The project, which seeks to draw 30 participants across the country, is part of broader efforts to widen the participation of women in the economy, as various studies have argued on the economic benefits that follow.
The YWEB boot camp 2013, the latest advocacy toward this effort, is a project of the SamahanngmgaPilipinaparasaReporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK) and the United States Embassy. The boot camp will run for three days from Sept. 23 to 25.

“Countless studies have shown that countries that encourage economic participation and entrepreneurial activity from women tend to do better overall. We need to empower more women to do business,” SPARK! Philippines president Mel Alonzo says during a press briefing to announce the YWEB activity early this week.

The figures revealed by officers of SPARK did paint a compelling picture.

For instance, Asia-Pacific could hit $89 billion in annual growth “if women were able to reach their full economic potential.” This, according to the study Access to Trade and Growth of Women’s SMEs in APEC Developing Economies released in February 2013.

It was a project by the Asia Foundation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the region’s leading economic forum.

Opportunities remain large, with the same study noting small and medium scale businesses represent 99.6 per cent of all registered businesses in the Philippines account for 32 percent of the economy and employ 70 percent of the work force.

“There remains an under-representation in the numbers of women entrepreneurs among established businesses, suggesting a set of factors that limit (Filipino) women when it comes to managing and operating a business,” according to the study.

Those constraints include family responsibilities that prevent them from putting more time into a business, SPARK officials note.

Women likewise favor activities “that allow them to balance family with entrepreneurial responsibilities such as trading, food preparation or home-based piece work,” they add.

The influence of women entrepreneurs has indeed been growing. Businesses run by Filipino women today account for 40 percent of entrepreneurial activity but male-led enterprises experienced better growth, it was announced this week.
A separate report by the Global Economic Monitor found that Filipino women tended to generally own nascent businesses, which typically refers to new ventures or concepts, at 69 percent, while men more often owned established businesses, or 66 percent.

“Women need to be included in economic activities in order for countries to truly experience development and peace,” notes US Embassy Economic Officer Katy Bondy.

The YWEB Boot Camp is being eyed as just another step in providing an avenue for young women businesses owners to be “mentored” by experts and successful entrepreneurs.

The launch this week saw experiences shared by Figaro Coffee founder Pacita “Chit” Juan of ECHO Store and Noreen Bautista, a self-described accidental entrepreneur whose company EcoIngenuity produces bags, journals and gadget covers from water hyacinth under the Jacinto&Lirio label.

Interested participants for the YWEB Boot Camp must submit a company profile describing their business, products or services, accompanied by a copy of their Department of Trade and Industry registration papers and their financial statements for the past two years.

Ten participants each from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao will be chosen to join the three-day workshop.
The top prize is $5,000 for the best and most innovative business plan. Three runners-up—one each from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao—will receive $1,000. Deadline for application is on July 31 and can be submitted to yweb.manila2013@gmail.com.

Speakers from Google, Citibank and other organizations will mentor the YWEB participants on strategic topics. Other firms and organizations contributing to the event are the Micro and SME Development department of the Department of Trade and Industry, Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corp. Planters Development Bank, Card Bank, Primeiro Partners and more.

Women Entrepreneurship Program

By Anna Leah G. Estrada | Posted on Jul. 16, 2013 at 12:01am | 378 views

The United States Embassy and the Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran launched Monday a project that will provide more opportunities to young women entrepreneurs in the Philippines.

The project, dubbed the Young Women Entrepreneurship Boot Camp 2013, aims to provide more opportunities for young women entrepreneurs through a series of lectures by successful businesswomen and other experts.

The three-day seminar workshop will be held on Sept. 23 to 25 to help encourage more women to participate in the economic sector.

“Countless studies have shown that countries that encourage economic participation and entrepreneurial activity from women tend to do better overall. We need to empower more women to do business,” said Spark Philippines president Mel Alonzo.

A study by the Asia Foundation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation showed the Asia-Pacific economy could grow by $89 billion annually if women reached their full economic potential.

The study also showed that SMEs represent 96.6 percent of all registered businesses in the country, accounting for 32 percent of the GDP and employing 70 percent of the workforce.

The study said while businesses run by Filipino women account for 40 percent of entrepreneurial activity, enterprises run by men tended to experience better growth.

“Entrepreneurship is really taking off in the Philippines. Women need to be included in economic activities in order for countries to truly experience development and peace,” said US Embassy economic officer Katy Bondy.

“Economically empowering women is something that President Barack Obama believes in. We believe that if we empower women we also empower the entire economy. These are exciting times for the Philippine with the economy doing well,” she added.

Women can add $89B to AsPac economies

Written by JIMMY CALAPATI

If women are able to reach their full economic potential, Asia Pacific economies including the Philippines could grow by an additional $89 billion annually, a study done by the Asia-pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) showed.
According to the study Access to Trade and Growth of Women’s SMEs in APEC Developing Economies, opportunities for starting businesses exist for both men and women in the Philippines as evidenced by the greater percent of women owners of nascent businesses and women’s relatively high level of entrepreneurial activity.

But although Filipino women own 45 percent of business enterprises, these are generally nascent businesses (69 percent), while men more often own established businesses (66 percent).

“Therefore, despite these trends and enabling mechanisms, there remains an underrepresentation in the number of women entrepreneurs among established businesses, suggesting a set of factors that limit women when it comes to managing and operating a business,” APEC said.

Researchers have also found that while women play a strong role in starting a business, family responsibilities put time constraints on the amount of time they can put into their businesses.

Furthermore, social services available to women to enable them to continue putting time into their business with a family were “generally insufficient.”

“As such, women are typically found in activities that permit them to balance family responsibilities with income generating activities such as retail trade, food preparation or home–‐based piecework. In particular, younger women with small children tend to start businesses that allow them to remain close to their home,” APEC said.
The same study said that SMEs represent 99.6 per cent of all registered businesses in the Philippines, account for 32 per cent of GDP and employ 70 per cent of the work force.

Citing various economic studies that argue for the greater participation of women in the economy, female executives and advocates yesterday launched the first in what could be a series of programs for women.

The Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 2013 (YWEB) is a three-day seminar to be held from Sept. 23 to 25 in Manila for women who own their own businesses and have been operating for at least two years.

It is organized by the Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK) and the US Embassy.
SPARK Philippines president Mel Alonzo and US Embassy Economic Officer Katy Bondy explained that the bootcamp hopes to encourage more women to participate in the economic sector.

“Countless studies have shown that countries that encourage economic participation and entrepreneurial activity from women tend to do better overall. We need to empower more women to do business,” Alonzo said.

Bondy, meanwhile, said Filipinos women “need to be included in economic activities in order for countries to truly experience development and peace.”

To be held in September, the YWEB Boot Camp 2013 will provide opportunities for young women business owners to be mentored by successful businesswomen and other experts.

Among the entrepreneurs who shared their experiences at the launch were Pacita Juan of the ECHO store which promotes merchandise from marginalized communities all over the country and Noreen Bautista of EcoIngenuity which produces bags, journals and gadget covers from water hyacinth under the Jacinto&Lirio label.

More networking opportunities with successful businesswomen and the formation of alliances were recommended by the APEC study to boost the participation of women in the economy. YWEB learning modules will also allow them to level up their enterprises.

To participate in the seminar, women entrepreneurs must submit a company profile describing their business, products or services, accompanied by a copy of their Department of Trade and Industry registration papers and their financial statements for the past two years.

Ten participants each from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao will be chosen to join the three-day workshop. Of those 30, one will receive USD5,000 for the best and most innovative business plan. Three runners-up – one each from Luzon Visayas and Mindanao – will receive USD1,000. Deadline for application is on July 31 and can be submitted to yweb.manila2013@gmail.com.

Speakers from Google, Citibank and other organizations will mentor the YWEB participants on strategic topics. Other firms and organizations contributing to the event are the Micro and SME Development department of the Department of Trade and Industry, Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corp. Planters Development Bank, Card Bank, Primeiro Partners and more.

Women ‘spark’ economic growth, says US Embassy exec

Category: Economy
Published on Monday, 15 July 2013 20:31
Written by Roderick L. Abad

WOMAN-ENTREPRENEURS are a vital key to keep the economic development of the country, a US Embassy official said on Monday.

“We believe in the economic empowering of women. When you empower women, you’re empowering not just one woman but empowering the community,” US Embassy Economic Officer Katy Bondy said during the media launch of a seminar for woman-entrepreneurs in Makati City.

With an economy that is currently doing so well, she said that the Philippines needs woman-entrepreneurs to continue moving forward.

The Philippines, to date, is considered a fast-emerging economy in the region, even surpassing that of China, by registering a robust a 7.8-percent growth in gross domestic product in the first quarter of this year.
Noting that the country’s economy exceeded all expectations, Bondy said women should participate in achieving national growth, especially in the economic sector, to keep the momentum growing.

“Women need to be included in economic activities in order for countries to truly experience development and peace,” the US Embassy official said.

Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (Spark) President Mel Alonzo noted that countries are economically better than those that do not promote economic participation and entrepreneurial activity among women.
Based on the study, Access to Trade and Growth of Women’s SMEs in Apec Developing Economies, economies in the Asia-Pacific region could grow yearly by an additional $89 billion if the women populace reach its full economic potential.

The same study, which was a project undertaken by The Asia Foundation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation released in February 2013, revealed that 99.6-percent of all the registered businesses in the country are SMEs.
They account for 32-percent of the gross domestic product and employ 70-percent of the work force.

Another study conducted by the Global Economic Monitor found that 69 percent of nascent businesses in the country are owned by Filipino women, while 66 percent of established businesses are owned by their male counterparts. The study noted family responsibilities as one of the factors that limit women in managing and operating an established business.

“We need to empower more women to do business,” Alonzo said.

She cited the Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 2013, a three-day seminar to be held from September 23 to 25 in Manila, as a venue for women, who own businesses for at least two years, to boost their participation in the economy.With Jovee Marie N. dela Cruz

When women mean business

By Anne A. Jambora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
11:49 pm | Monday, July 8th, 2013

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Girl power gets a new spin as an NGO partners with the US Embassy to help deserving young women entrepreneurs

The ’90s Spice Girl buzzword, “girl power,” might just go from being a mere slogan thrown around by young women to becoming a battle cry of sorts for a better Philippines in the 21st century.

A boot camp designed by women for the empowerment of women hopes to someday change the economic structure of the country.

Organized by the Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (Spark!) and the US Embassy, the Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp (Yweb) 2013 will equip young women entrepreneurs with the tools necessary to succeed, survive and flourish locally and globally amid today’s cutthroat competition.

Spark! is an NGO composed of “empowered women committed to the development of women and women’s organizations as full partners in national development; committed to establishing a network of women leaders in all sectors and at all levels, who can participate in discourse and decision-making from community level up to national; networking and partnering with other women’s groups, business, national and local government, church and the academe; harnessing the human, technical and financial resources of partners and networks for the development of women; and acting as advocate, oversight/watchdog of women issues.”

“Countless studies have shown that countries that encourage economic participation and entrepreneurial activity from women tend to do better overall,” said Zorayda Amelia C. Alonzo, president of Spark! Philippines. “We should empower more women to do business.”

Innovative business plan
The Yweb 2013 is a contest open to young women entrepreneurs who own a business of any type. A total of 30 will be chosen from around the country to participate in the boot camp on Sept. 23-25 here in Manila: 10 from Luzon, 10 from the Visayas and 10 from Mindanao. Travel arrangements and expenses, hotel accommodations and training materials will be shouldered by Sparks! and the US Embassy.

A lone winner with the best and most innovative business plan will be selected at the boot camp, and will be awarded $5,000. Three runners-up, one from Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao, will each receive $1,000. Judging will be based on the business’ potential to succeed and the impact—the ripple effect—the business will have in their communities.

To win a slot, women entrepreneurs must submit a company profile describing their business, products and services, along with a copy of its DTI registration papers and financial statements for the past two years.

The said company must have been in existence for at least two years. The paper must be three to five pages long in Times New Roman, font 11. E-mail applications to yweb.manila2013@gmail.com. Deadline for submission is on July 30. Educational attainment is not a requirement.

“Researches have shown that if you give money to the man of the house, only a certain amount would go to the family. Normally a man would use it for himself,” Alonzo said. “But if you give the money to the woman, everything goes to the family—to food, education, care of the children. It’s not just about gender equality; it’s about what’s good for the Filipino family.

“For a woman to be empowered she has to be economically independent, which means she should have her own livelihood. The livelihood that she creates redounds to the benefit of her family. It’s really important for women to have a business, to own a business, to use her creativity. For the country this is very important.”

Kathryn W. Bondy, economic officer at the Embassy of the United States, said that entrepreneurship is a priority for the Obama administration—that includes promoting women, advancing women and economically empowering women.

“We received money from the State department. They asked us to come up with an innovative idea that will help advance entrepreneurship and our own US economic goals. We are happy to align with Sparks! because our goals are in alignment… We want these businesses to make money but also have the idea of giving back to their own communities by hiring locally, or by helping other women’s businesses in the area,” Bondy said.

Extra hurdle
Bondy said a study made by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Asia Foundation in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines finds that women encounter barriers when they start their own businesses, extra hurdles in growing their businesses.

Barriers include lack of access to financing; lack of understanding about technology; lack of understanding of accounting; lack of networks because networks are often based on familial relationships, and often men are the ones who have those relationships because they are the ones who are outside their homes; and security.

Alonzo also noted that while women are very productive, when it comes to entrepreneurship many lack the confidence to grow their businesses: “They give up the ascendency. The moment it starts growing, they feel they need to get their father or husband or some man to help them, and sometimes, in fact, to be their bosses. That is something we have to dispel.

“In prehistoric Philippines, women have been allowed to be the priestesses. They occupied the prime positions, which was subverted when Spain came over. The western influence subjugated the women.”
And today could not be a better day for Filipino entrepreneurs, added Alonzo, with the credibility of the Aquino administration luring many investors to focus on the Philippines.
The boot camp will feature a host of successful women entrepreneur speakers from the Philippines and from a number of American companies, including one from the popular web search engine Google. Apart from their speaking roles, Bondy said, they will also serve as mentors to these young women’s businesses.

“We will ensure the diversity of the speakers so that all aspects of business development will be addressed. What the boot camp promises is to show them the best way to financial management, to creativity of products and to become IT savvy.

“These speakers are future markets. We make sure they are able to speak to them. Nothing would resonate with women more than when they see a real successful woman entrepreneur telling them how to do it,” Alonzo said.

The progress of the businesses will be monitored every quarter after the boot camp. After a year, said Alonzo, they are hoping the transformation of these young women would be so that they would be able to compete locally and internationally.

“Many studies throughout the world conclude that when you empower the women, you’ll have the entire country improving because more women enter the workforce. It’s a bonus for your country when you empower the women economically,” Bondy said.

Read more: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/112823/when-women-mean-business#ixzz2YVbDOoR6
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YWEB2013 on Vigattin Radio

There was another informative discussion on technology and innovation in our Vigattin Radio Program. Mr. Earl Valencia, President of Ideaspace Foundation, shared with us his experiences at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference on Innovation and Trade Implementation Practices held in Indonesia. Mrs. Socorro Yap, on the other hand, talked about the upcoming Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 2013 (YWEB). This was really a jam-packed episode aiming to shed light on the current state of our local technology and startup community.

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YWEB 2013
Unleash your entrepreneurial spirit!

The Young Women Entrepreneurs Boot Camp 2013 (YWEB) is a joint project of Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran (SPARK!) and the U.S. Embassy. This is a fantastic opportunity for women entrepreneurs to share ideas and experiences and be mentored by successful business owners and experts. YWEB aims to empower women by giving them a three-day session (September 23-25) to fine-tune their business models and strategies, know more about the best practices in the industry, and enhance their products or services.

Studies show that countries which have more women entrepreneurs who are active in the industry tend to do better overall, i.e economically, politically, socially. This is perhaps the main reason why SPARK! Philippines encourage more women to drive growth and innovation in the Philippine economy.

For more information about YWEB 2013 and how to participate, you may visithttps://www.facebook.com/SparkPhilippinesInc. Deadline for submission of application is July 30, 2013.

Watch the full recorded stream below:

YWEB 2013 Radio Interview