In Honor of Three Women and a Peace Prize…We are Recognizing a Social Enterprise That Empowers Women to Bring (More) Healthy Women Into the World

“We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all levels of society,” said Thorbjoern Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in announcing the prize.  In honor of three women sharing the award of the Nobel Peace Prize today, we are Blogging about a social enterprise that will be directly responsible for decreasing maternal mortality and bringing more, healthy baby girls into the world (and we hope), into the Peace process as well! In India for example, a recent Save the Children report, ranked the country … Continue reading In Honor of Three Women and a Peace Prize…We are Recognizing a Social Enterprise That Empowers Women to Bring (More) Healthy Women Into the World

Ahkun: Providing a Marketplace Where the Micro-Finance Model Usually Ends

Like a cross between Kiva and Etsy, Ahkun works to close the cycle for artisans and micro-enterprise owners who have received micro-finance loans to begin their own business enterprises, by providing them a marketplace to sell their goods. The potential to sell their goods in non-local and international markets (where they may receive higher prices for their products), allows them to continue creating goods, and also to scale up their micro-enterprises. From the Ahkun website: “Ahkun CONNECTS artisans and entrepreneurs to the global marketplace. We harness the power of the web to provide microloan recipients access to the global market, … Continue reading Ahkun: Providing a Marketplace Where the Micro-Finance Model Usually Ends

Is the “Micro Consignment Model” The New Micro-Financing Model (that Traditional Investors Have Been Waiting For?)

First there was Micro-Finance, connecting the ‘unbankable’ and traditionally un-collateralized to sources of credit that could be leveraged into their own businesses or micro-enterprises. If, however, some loanees were not able to develop businesses, or scale, or sustain them, they were left with outstanding debts, that when difficult to repay resulted in default.  Not an attractive social entrepreneurial (socent) model for traditional investment. Although an incredible boon to individuals in developing countries, especially to women, and a testament to innovation in the socent and social capital arenas. Enter, Micro-Franchising. It adds an already existent product or service to sell by the “entrepreneur” … Continue reading Is the “Micro Consignment Model” The New Micro-Financing Model (that Traditional Investors Have Been Waiting For?)

El Puente: Making the Point that Women are Hidden Casualties of NAFTA

El Puente In 1997, in the aftermath of NAFTA and its displacement, trauma and impact on women and workers, La Mujer Obrera established El Puente Community Development Corporation, to create economic opportunity with/for displaced women workers and other low income community members, especially those living and working in the South Central barrio, the former Garment District of El Paso.  El Puente’s mission is true to its name. Virtually unparalleled in the country as a grassroots Mexican immigrant women’s organization involved in development tied to empowerment. To generate economic opportunity, El Puente focuses on: Job Creation Micro-enterprise Development Social Enterprises Small … Continue reading El Puente: Making the Point that Women are Hidden Casualties of NAFTA

Women’s Bean Project – Sometimes a Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen

More than a hill of beans… Since 1989 we have been helping women break the cycle of poverty and unemployment. We are a nonprofit organization that teaches job readiness and life skills for entry-level jobs through employment in our gourmet food production and handmade jewelry manufacturing businesses. Women come with the goal of transforming their lives and moving toward self sufficiency. Our Mission: To change women’s lives by providing stepping stones to self-sufficiency through social enterprise. Our Vision: Women’s Bean Project strives to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty by helping women discover their talents and develop skills … Continue reading Women’s Bean Project – Sometimes a Woman’s Place is in the Kitchen

Silai for Skills – Sewing the Seeds of Small Business in Bristol

Silai For Skills Silai for Skills was created with the aim of giving women the right training to earn a decent living from their craft, but also the confidence to set up their own businesses if they wanted to do so. From Founder, Aroona Smith: “We were able to rent premises where women could come on a daily basis to further their skills, build their self- confidence and learn everything that was necessary to set up their own business or just improve their quality of life. We now offer everything from fashion design courses to upholstery and many women have gone on to set up successful businesses … Continue reading Silai for Skills – Sewing the Seeds of Small Business in Bristol

G.R.O. – Grows businesses in Lesotho, South Africa

Micro-credit+ In the spring of 2008, as an extension of the G.R.O. Lesotho education programs , G.R.O. launched two start-up social-enterprise businesses.  Rather than focusing on micro-credit, G.R.O. focused on locating existing but struggling local entrepreneurial projects (two small women’s collectives) and providing targeted capital infusions for business start-up, early stock and overhead costs as well as market access.  By having G.R.O. personnel ‘on the ground’ in Lesotho, we’ve been able to facilitate connections to international markets, ensure the separate enterprises were supporting each other, and ensure our supporters funds were used directly on programs and in a targeted way to … Continue reading G.R.O. – Grows businesses in Lesotho, South Africa