Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 : Boost for economic growth through women stakeholders | Sunday Observer

Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 : Boost for economic growth through women stakeholders

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump greet Mitra, the made in India robot.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump greet Mitra, the made in India robot.

The US-India co-hosted Global Entrepreneur Summit (GES) in Hyderabad, India last week laid the foundation to upscale women entrepreneurship to achieve sustainable economic growth through job creation and ensuring gender balance.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs, government officials who gathered in the Mughal city of Hyderabad agreed that women can help lead the way to closing the gender gap and ushering in a new age of greater economic prosperity throughout the world.

The two-and-a-half-day summit was inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Advisor to US President and successful entrepreneur, Ivanka Trump on Tuesday, amidst a colourful cultural event, where India showcased its rich heritage and modern skills.

The summit now into its eighth edition focused on women entrepreneurs, and held under the theme – ‘Women First-Prosperity for All’.

Ivanka who has taken to play a lead role in promoting women-led businesses around the globe making the inaugural speech mentioned when women work, it creates a unique multiplier effect. “Women are more likely than men to hire other women, and to give them access to capital, mentorship and networks.

Women are also more likely to reinvest their income back in their families and communities.

“Fueling the growth of women-led businesses isn’t simply good for our society – it’s good for our economy. One study estimates that closing the gender entrepreneurship gap world-wide could grow our global GDP by as much as two percent.”

“In the last decade, women have made remarkable strides in starting new businesses… Today, more than 11 million women in the United States own businesses. They employ nearly 9 million workers, and generate over $1 trillion in revenue, she pointed out.

Speaking to a gathering of high-profile entrepreneurs and young start-up owners, Trump commended their initiatives that have the inspiration and drive to serve communities through the projects they have started and the businesses they have built.

“You have the grit – the perseverance – and the WILL to succeed. Each of you started with an idea. You’ve worked long days and nights to code the next robot, create the next app, find the next cure, and discover the next breakthrough to improve millions of lives.”

“Some may have tried to convince you that the risk is too great – and the reward too small. But you are here today because you are not afraid to fail.You want to OWN your future,” she said congratulating all entrepreneurs, emphasizing the efforts by women entrepreneurs. “I am proud that for the first time ever, women make up the majority of the 1500 entrepreneurs selected to attend. Only when women are empowered to thrive; will our families, our economies, and our societies reach their fullest potential.”

“As a former entrepreneur, employer, and executive in a male-dominated industry, I have seen firsthand that all too often, women must do more than their male counterparts to prove themselves at work, while also disproportionately caring for their families at home.”

“Our administration is advancing policies that enable women to pursue their careers *and* care for their families, policies that improve workforce development and skills training, and policies that lift government barriers and fuel entrepreneurship so that Americans can turn their dreams into their incredible legacies,” she said.

The 36-year-old Trump, who was accorded a warm welcome in the tech hub of Hyderabad, also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for building “India as a thriving economy – a beacon of democracy – and a symbol of hope to the world”.

Speaking on the United States’ situation, Trump said when it comes to networks and mentorship, roughly half of women in the United States say they have difficulty finding a mentor.

“Yet, mentorship is critical to success. Entrepreneurs need professional guidance to help them start and grow their businesses.

“In the United States, we are fostering mentorship through programs such as SCORE – a nationwide initiative where successful men and women coach those who want to become their own CEOs.

“And when it comes to equitable laws, while many developed and developing countries have made tremendous strides, there is still much work to be done.”

She said, “WeFi is the first facility to support women entrepreneurs at this scale, and we anticipate it will be able to leverage in excess of $1 BILLION dollars in public and private financing.

This facility also seeks to address the legal and regulatory barriers that limit opportunities for women entrepreneurs.”

“In the last decade, USAID has promoted women entrepreneurship through a number of programs, including providing micro-finance loans to women in Afghanistan, and bringing Internet access to women in Nigeria and Kenya.”

“Further, as you can all attest, this Summit is yet another powerful example of a U.S. initiative that connects entrepreneurs around the world with investors who believe in your mission and will champion your success.”

Ivanka Trump led a 350-strong empowered US delegation of largely female entrepreneurs, innovators, administrative officials and ecosystem supporters for the eighth edition of GES.

The writer is a member of the journalist group which attended the GES 2017 with the support of US Embassy Colombo and the Foreign Press Centre of the US Department of State.