International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual celebration of women and their achievements, demonstrating why empowering women is beneficial for everyone. The theme this year is 'Balance For Better' and we incorporated this into a week-long campaign leading up to the day itself, by highlighting how we strive for gender equality across our network. Entrepreneurs were celebrated from across the world; from Mexico to Mongolia and Tanzania to Spain. All in all, we showcased women from eleven different countries, while many more participated in the campaign on social media.
Our members positively impact female entrepreneurs in many ways. For instance, did you know we supported over 30,000 with training last year?
We are extremely proud of the collective impact our network is having, therefore International Women's Day was the perfect opportunity to showcase several young female entrepreneurs and their journeys through entrepreneurship.
Videos of six brilliant women were featured in the campaign, highlighting their businesses and how they have been supported by our members to become thriving entrepreneurs. We also shared four brand new success stories on our website, showcasing female entrepreneurs from Bangladesh, Chile, France and Trinidad and Tobago. Daniela, Olivia, Farida and Shenelle have all overcome obstacles and worked hard to create successful businesses with the support of our members and they all have valuable pieces of advice to encourage other aspiring female entrepreneurs to follow their dreams of starting a business.
We invited female CEOs from across the network to share with us their thoughts on this year’s IWD theme:
Lastly, in an interview with Anita Tiessen, CEO of YBI, we asked about YBI's approach to supporting female entrepreneurs and the steps being taken to reduce inequality through supporting entrepreneurship. Crucially, we asked what she would say to any young woman who is thinking about starting their own business:
“I’d say two things; firstly, believe in yourself - if you’ve got an idea, pursue it - the first one may not work, the second one may not work, but the third one may. Just believe in yourself and go for it. Secondly, get a mentor. It is hugely important for anybody but particularly important to get female role models to help support you through the various challenges that you’ll face.”
Whether through mentoring, access to finance, training or any other type of business skills support the YBI network offers to young entrepreneurs, we strive to make this gender inclusive and work to reduce the barriers women face when starting up their own business. While recognising that women confront different challenges to men in many contexts, we work together to continue, improve and scale our approaches to providing equal opportunites to all young people.
Join us at our Global Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (GYES), taking place from 10-14 June 2019 in Cartagena, Colombia. GYES 2019 will bring together YBI members, leading experts, influencers and decision makers in the youth entrepreneurship sector to explore new approaches to the ever-changing needs, challenges and aspirations of young entrepreneurs globally.
Visit the GYES website to learn more.