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  • Monday, October 18, 2021 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    Mastercard, the Official Payment Technology Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, has teamed up with the region’s largest network for women-owned businesses, Female Fusion, to unlock opportunities for women entrepreneurs at the world’s largest cultural gathering.

    The collaboration will result in a host of knowledge-sharing, networking and mentoring events aimed at women-owned businesses that will aim to empower and educate them, to grow and scale their businesses and include them in an evolving digital economy. The series of activities, designed to accelerate women’s impact in creating a better world, will take place at the Women’s Pavilion by Expo 2020, in collaboration with Cartier. There will also be virtual workshops hosted during the six-month period.

    The alliance will invite notable guests, including Sarah Beydoun, Founder and Creative Director of a social impact fashion business in Lebanon; Ioanna Angelidaki, co-founder of Instashop; and Maureen Hall, Founder and CEO of a sunwear brand. The workshops will empower entrepreneurs with valuable skills to go digital and grow digital in their ventures. 

    According to the inaugural Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index, 81% of the region’s women entrepreneurs have a digital presence for their businesses, compared to 68% of their male counterparts. In terms of a digital footprint of the region’s women entrepreneurs, social media (71%) leads the way, followed by a company website (57%).

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  • Monday, October 11, 2021 4:00 AM | Anonymous

    MEA is home to some of the world’s highest and lowest rates of female entrepreneurship. With total entrepreneurial activity (TEA), sub-Saharan Africa leads the world with the highest rates at 27 per cent. In fact, there are seven countries in the world where women had equal or higher levels of entrepreneurship than their male counterparts – three of the seven countries are in MEA and all three MEA ones are in Africa – Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda (the remaining four are Panama, Thailand, Ecuador and Mexico. It is interesting to note at other regions with high TEA rates of female entrepreneurs, in particular Latin America and the Caribbean). 

    MEA, despite having sub-Saharan Africa leading the world, is also home one of the world’s lowest rates of women TEA, where in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) it is at a mere 4 per cent.

    Mastercard last year launched its latest edition of its Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) and Israel led the list at number one (Israel, often known as the Startup Nation, was the only country in MEA on the top ten which also included in the following order: The United States, Switzerland, New Zealand, Poland, the UK, Canada, Sweden, Australia and Spain). The report involved an in-depth analysis across 12 indicators and 25 sub-indicators spanning Advancement Outcomes, Knowledge Assets and Financial Access, and Supporting Entrepreneurial Conditions – the index ranked each economy according to its performance over the past year – as stated in its report.


    Unfortunately, the tech sector (as is much of other sectors) is still male dominated – whereby 90% of tech CEOs are male. Interestingly though is that within MEA, in MENA the percentage of female entrepreneurs in tech is at 35%. Even though its TEA rate is really low it is notable that the percentage of female entrepreneurs is relatively high in tech.

    MENA also leads in digital footprint with respect to female entrepreneurs. Via Mastercard, women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) believe there are huge benefits of a cash-free economy to their businesses. This is via the Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index, which highlighted that 81% of the region’s female entrepreneurs have a digital presence for their businesses, which leads in comparison to 68% of their male counterparts. With regards to the digital footprint of the region’s female entrepreneurs, social media (71%) leads the way, followed by a company website (57%). By looking at MENA specifically, the study found that more female entrepreneurs had a website (at 71%) in comparison to a social media presence (at 55%).

    The wider MEA region is seeing a growing list of female entrepreneurs and this includes the wider fintech industry. Middle East-born companies such as Souqalmal.com founder and CEO’s Ambareen Musa), which is an insurtech company, to robo-advisory Sarwa co-founder Nadine Mezher to Rumman’s co-founder Shurouq Qawariq to SolidBlock’s co-CEO and cofounder Yael Tamar – show a growing rise of female entrepreneurs in the fintech and wider tech space.

    In Africa, examples of female CEOs and/or cofounders in the fintech space include the likes of Nigeria’s Piggyvest co-founder and COO Odunayo Eweniyi, Pezescha of Kenya’s founder and CEO Hilda Moraa,  Lebo Mokgabudi from South Africa as the founder and CEO of Eaglequest Africa and Lilian Makoi from Tanzania who is the founder of Mipango – to name a few.

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  • Monday, October 04, 2021 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    Groupon, the go-to destination for local experiences, is encouraging everyone to celebrate October’s National Women’s Small Business Month. To make it easy to support and shop at women-owned businesses, Groupon is featuring approximately 2,000 women-owned businesses from across the United States. Groupon spoke with more than 600 women small business owners from around the United States to better understand why they decided to become their own boss and how they have remained resilient during the global pandemic.

    This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211001005480/en/

    In recognition of October's National Women's Small Business Month, Groupon spoke with more than 600 women small business owners from around the United States to better understand why they decided to become their own boss and how they have remained resilient during the global pandemic. (Graphic: Business Wire)

    Women Small Business Owners Say They’re Held to a Different Standard than Men

    According to the survey results, women small business owners continue to face systemic challenges as a result of their gender. Fifty-four percent of women small business owners said they’re held to a different standard than their male counterparts when it comes to accessing capital, acquiring mentors and being taken seriously by their peers. Fifty-four percent of survey respondents also said that it’s harder for them to balance work and family life.

    Women Put in the Work to be Their Own Boss

    Despite these obstacles, nearly all women small business owners––an overwhelming 94% ––are happy with their choice to work for themselves and ready to overcome any challenges thrown their way. Seventy-six percent of women small business owners work beyond the standard 8-hour work day, with the average owner working 12 hours a day. And this hard work is paying off, as 64% of women small business owners said they make as much or more money than they did before opening their own business.

    “As one of the largest marketplaces of women-owned small businesses anywhere in the world, we’re excited and encouraged by the progress these entrepreneurs are making, and we’re focused on opening up new opportunities for women –– both internally and externally –– to create a Groupon that’s reflective of the world we want to live in,” said Groupon’s Chief Financial Officer Melissa Thomas. “We’re extremely proud of the fact that nearly 60%* of the small businesses on Groupon are owned by women, and we’re committed to ensuring these merchants come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.”

    Increasing Awareness and Support for Women-Owned Businesses

    According to the survey results, women small business owners have a clear plan and path to drive revenue and accelerate their recovery from the pandemic. The top ways that women-owned businesses are looking to increase profits are the following: growing their social media presence, leveraging sales, expanding inventory, taking advantage of government or small business organization loans and resources and running paid advertising campaigns.

    Even before the start of the pandemic, many states invested heavily in education and financial programs to help foster the development and success of small businesses. After the pandemic hit, many states stepped up to help the businesses impacted by movement restrictions in the form of deferring sales tax payments and increasing financial support through state grants.

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  • Monday, September 27, 2021 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    At 52, Jennifer Lopez has done what only a few have accomplished: Since the late 1980s, she has successfully built careers as an actress, musician, entrepreneur and businesswoman.

    The key to her business acumen and brand-building sense, she says: emphasizing the unique qualities she brings to the table and being resilient. “It’s about being the scarce asset,” Lopez recently told Adweek.

    By honing into her individual talents and roots as a Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx, N.Y., Lopez has built an empire that includes endorsement deals with shoe retailer DSW and luxury design house Coach, a philanthropic arm called Limitless Labs that’s partnering with Goldman Sachs to support Latinx entrepreneurs and her new line of beauty products JLO Beauty, which she founded this year.

    Today, Lopez is one of America’s wealthiest self-made women, with an estimated net worth exceeding $150 million, according to Forbes. And according to Lopez, there’s a superpower behind her success: “There’s only one me.”

    The idea of focusing on what differentiates you may seem simple, but especially in creative industries, women are often sold the idea that they are “a dime a dozen” and “disposable,” Lopez said. “That’s not the truth.”

    Lopez said everyone has something unique about themselves that no one else has, and she’s learned to foster those skills. “I am the scarce asset — somebody who is a proven creator, artist and entrepreneur who has an ability to really connect with people,” she said. “I cherish it and try to use it in the best way that I always can.”

    That’s great advice, according to bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch. Welch told CNBC Make It in 2017 that you can “find your area of destiny” by identifying overlaps between your unique skills or talents, activities you enjoy doing and “areas of economic growth or opportunity that have interest to you.”

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  • Monday, September 20, 2021 4:00 AM | Anonymous

    Every journey to success starts with a dream. But how do you get from where you are now to where you want to be? One way to increase your chances is by following in the footsteps of those who’ve already walked the path. And so to help you take those all-important first steps, the researchers from OnDeck collected the best pieces of business advice from 15 of the world’s greatest female founders and CEOs.

    • It's OK To Fail

    Whitney Wolfe Herd is one highly successful CEO who embraces her failures. "When you accept that failure is a good thing, it can actually be a huge propeller toward success," says the Bumble Founder and CEO.

    General Motors CEO Mary Barra is another high-flying businesswoman who isn't afraid to show her vulnerable side. "It's OK to admit what you don't know," urges Barra. "It's OK to ask for help. And it's OK to listen to the people you lead."

    • Stay Grounded

    Indra Nooyi has a list of accolades she could boast about. She earned an MBA from Yale Business School, sits on the board of Amazon, and regularly features in the Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. But the former CEO of PepsiCo doesn't let any of this go to her head. Instead, she is always willing to listen and learn. "Just because you're CEO, don't think you've landed," warns Indra. "You should always be learning about the way you think."

    • Working Smart Beats Working Hard

    Hard work matters. But the real key to success is combining hard work with smart work. In other words, focus on productivity rather than hours clocked.

    This is how Flickr’s boss Caterina Fake approaches her day. "So often people are working hard on the wrong thing," says Fake. "[But] working on the right thing is more important than working hard."

    Karen Young, the founder of Oui the People, has some similar advice for aspiring CEOs. She says, "The simplest time management skill as an entrepreneur comes down to understanding what's most important."

    • Forget About Perfection

    "Perfection is the enemy," warns LeanIn Founder Sheryl Sandberg. "Trying to do it all and expecting it can all be done right is a recipe for disappointment."

    Sandberg's approach involves learning how to let go and delegate tasks to those more qualified than you. And that's something Helen Robertson mastered a long time ago. The Expedia Cruise boss has no ego when it comes to surrounding herself with the best people. "You never have to feel like the smartest person in the room, '' says Helen. "Building a good team requires you to hire people that may know more in a certain subject than you do."

    Click Here to Read the Rest of the Article.

  • Monday, September 13, 2021 5:00 AM | Anonymous

    The Great Resignation is launching a new crop of women entrepreneurs who are reveling in their new-found freedom.

    It’s in all the headlines, “The Great Resignation” – why millions of people are quitting their jobs and declining to go back to “business as usual” pre-pandemic. While this affects both men and women, statistics show that women are leaving at a higher rate than men.

    As of May, 1.8 million of the five million women who lost their jobs in 2020 have yet to return.

    In a recent Mckinsey Report, one out of four women were considering leaving corporate due to burnout. Those women spanned all levels in the organization, but burnout and exhaustion increased with seniority.

    There are a number of reasons for this:

    • Women carry an unequal share of the burden of caring for children and homes. The pandemic stretched them too thin and something had to give.
    • Working from home sheds new light on the fact that one can be equally, if not more, productive working from home than commuting to an office.
    • While on lockdown, we lived integrated lives – enjoying more balance and flexibility with how we spend our time. We balanced home schooling, caring for elderly parents, and housework – all while remaining productive at work.

    The question is, will women ever return to the office?

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  • Monday, September 06, 2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    The first step in starting a business has two components: doing something and then saying, "I'm doing this." Many female entrepreneurs struggle with the second part. I know I did.

    One of the hardest things about starting a business is overcoming your doubts and believing your dream can eventually become a reality. For a number of reasons, taking those crucial first steps can be especially hard for female founders.

    The first step in starting a business has two components: Doing something to get the ball rolling, and then saying, “I'm doing this.” Many female entrepreneurs struggle with the second part. I know I did. Here are a few ways to get unstuck.

    Push yourself to "brag"

    Making a declaration about what you’re doing is just as important as what you’re actually doing to start your business. It cements your commitment and starts the networking process of attracting like-minded people and organizations.

    When I was starting The Dyrt, I found this step really difficult and constantly felt like an imposter. In 2013, I didn’t see a lot of other female entrepreneurs, and I constantly felt intimidated. I would now tell my 2013 self that most founders of all genders feel this way, even if the male entrepreneurs we encounter aren’t articulating this feeling and seem to have all the confidence in the world. 

    I remember feeling very disinclined to stand up and declare. It seemed like we should wait until we had a rock-solid accomplishment to say anything about it. But it’s almost impossible to get momentum for a new business while keeping it a secret.

    The solution here for female founders is often just having awareness of this dynamic. Recognize that making a declaration may be uncomfortable and push through it. There’s no need to brag or exaggerate, though it will feel like you are. Just say what you’ve done and what you’re doing.

    You also don’t have to speak at a conference or post on every social-media account you have. Sharing your visions in one-on-one conversations is often just as powerful or more so than declaring on a large stage. Clarity matters more than reach at this stage.

    Be matter of fact about the potential you see for your business and the actions you’ve taken so far. Don’t undercut your declaration with self-deprecation. This is easier said than done and something I am constantly striving to get better at. You can acknowledge that it won’t be easy or that you’re just starting out, but own where you’re going and the steps you’ve taken.

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  • Monday, August 30, 2021 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Women-led startups received just 2.3% of VC funding in 2020, and that’s a problem not just for female founders, but for the U.S. economy as a whole. Here’s what investors can—and should—do about it.

    I had an interesting experience during our recent fundraise when a male VC friend remarked that our team should consider changing the name of the fund. “Your returns are great,” he said, “but funding only women-led companies is a hard sell to institutional investors.”

    His comment encapsulated exactly what continues to be the most significant hurdle for female entrepreneurs today. Many investors view female-founded companies as “impact investments,” versus an opportunity to generate alpha returns—or excess returns earned on an investment above the benchmark return—within an asset class that has been historically under-appreciated.

    Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen incredible momentum from a diverse cohort of growth-stage female-founded companies for the first time in history. This February, 31-year-old Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd took her company public and become the 22nd woman ever to do so. She created a different role model of success in bright yellow, holding her one-year-old son as she rang the NASDAQ bell. In May, FIGS became the first company to go public led by two female co-founders in the healthcare apparel space. A month later, in June, Anne Wojcicki led genetic testing company 23&Me’s public offering that valued the company at $3.5 billion. Just this August, Hello Sunshine, a female-founded media company building content specifically for female audiences, was acquired for an estimated $900 million, and Maven Clinic, the largest virtual clinic for womens’ and family care was valued at $1B. These companies vary by sector, founder experience, and focus, and demonstrate that we’re on the cusp of a real inflection point. The opportunity is apparent that there’s real money to be made investing in women, yet investors themselves have not caught up.

    Despite these examples of success, we continue to see women face many of the same challenges when it comes to actually raise capital. Women-led startups received just 2.3% of VC funding in 2020. To put that in absolute terms, that 2.3% breaks down to roughly $3.7 billion going towards women, as opposed to the $160 billion that male founders receive. In today’s day and age, this is archaic. We know diversity matters, and that diverse perspectives generate more favorable outcomes. And while organizations have spoken quite loudly about their commitments to inclusivity, the dollars have not been put to work.

    To read the rest of the article, Click here.

  • Monday, August 23, 2021 2:00 PM | Anonymous

    The nearly 13 million small businesses owned by women nationwide are essential to the U.S. economy. Accounting for 42% of U.S. small businesses, they employ nearly 9.4 million people and generate $1.9 trillion in revenue annually.

    Healthy and growing women-owned businesses are vital to an inclusive economic recovery, yet women entrepreneurs face distinct challenges, including fewer resources and less access to professional networks, on top of having a greater share of caregiving duties.

    “For many small businesses, having access to trusted experts in areas like marketing, business planning, technology and legal can be a critical turning point for getting back to growth,” says Jenny Flores, head of Small Business Growth Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. Right now, the company is deploying over $55 million from its Open for Business Fund to 93 nonprofits across the country to provide more women and diverse entrepreneurs with resources.

    To read the rest of the article, Click Here.

  • Monday, August 16, 2021 7:00 AM | Anonymous

    It can feel like entrepreneurs have superhuman powers, juggling a plethora of activities while us mere mortals just want to flop on the sofa. But thanks to UK based card payments provider, Dojo, we can see the secrets of their success. So, notebooks and pens at the ready, here are the top four habits of female entrepreneurs.

    1. Sleep

    OK – pretty essential for all of us just to survive. But studying their biographies, social media and interviews, Dojo found that adhering to strict sleep patterns was also vital for our entrepreneurs’ success. And while most of us already know this, it also seems, quality is more important than quantity.

    For female entrepreneurs like Kim Kardashian, waking up at 5.45am is an essential part of her routine. Getting up at (literally) the crack of dawn is also a habit of Whitney Wolfe-Herd, founder of dating app Bumble. Interestingly, Wolfe-Herd prefers to follow the circadian rhythm. This means she follows the natural 24-hour sleep-wake cycle and rises with the sun (no blackout blinds in her bedroom then).

    There’s a lot to be said about this approach. For example, the Sleep Foundation says a ‘stable cycle’ helps us deal with more daytime activity while a disrupted pattern affects not just sleep, but metabolism and mental wellbeing. 

    2. Preparation and organization

    Preparedness was another common trait shared by the female entrepreneurs Dojo analyzed.

    Part of this means reducing what’s called ‘decision fatigue’. In other words, planning stuff so you don’t end up wrestling with simple decisions that you spend hours deliberating.

    Examples include planning what you wear or what you’re going to have for lunch the day before (Kim K does both). Einstein did a similar thing and owned multiples of the same outfit so he didn’t waste time thinking about clothes. Vogue editor, Anna Wintour is also known to take the same approach although her wardrobe is significantly more exciting than Einstein’s was. 

    Preparation and preparedness isn’t just about clothes and food. It comes down to simply planning ahead. For example, if you’ve got a meeting, read the agenda, make notes of questions beforehand, and clarify your thoughts and opinions. Not only will it better prepare you, you’ll be able to participate in a meaningful way (it really does work).

    3. Diet and exercise

    This isn’t about being on a diet or submitting yourself to a gruelling gym schedule  — but about eating well and keeping fit.

    In fact, Dojo found that fitness entrepreneur and influencer Kayla Itsines said her diet was so important, her entire schedule is based around all her meals. But despite most of us knowing the benefits of fruit and veggies, 36% of the British population is overweight. More than quarter (28%) are obese. Needless to say, that can lead to all sorts of health problems including type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. The latter can also lead to heart disease and even stroke. 

    4. Dedicated ‘me’ time and being happy

    Nearly all the female entrepreneurs analyzed set aside time for themselves. It shows that no matter how busy you are, you’re never too busy to look after yourself. Whether it’s setting time to exercise or just having a long bath, it’s crucial to recharge and relax.  

    You don’t even have to ‘do’ anything. Tidy-up queen Marie Kondo takes time to meditate. As does Beyoncé and Oprah Winfrey who both use the time to reflect and give ‘gratitudes’.  

    Singer and make-up entrepreneur Rihanna also says happiness is key to her success. With an estimated $1.7 billion (£1.2 billion) fortune, who are we to argue. 

    And when you look at the entrepreneurs Dojo studied, it’s clear that their success lies in taking a passion, skill or talent and nurturing it. Fundamentally, it’s about being happy in what you do and finding an optimum work-life balance that suits you.

    Click Here To Read The Rest of The Article

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