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This online discussion hosted by the WE EMPOWER programme of the European Union (EU), UN Women and International Labour Organization (ILO) connects women’s business associations, women entrepreneurs, women’s economic empowerment experts and stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and civil society for a discussion on how women entrepreneurs are responding to COVID-19 and how women’s business associations can support women entrepreneurs during this time.
Your inputs are valuable and will help to inform the creation of an advocacy tool that will communicate what women entrepreneurs need to thrive in the new economy. Join us as we identify critical components of a coordinated approach to supporting women’s entrepreneurship, good policies and practices in the context of COVID-19.
This online discussion will take place from July 8th at 11:00AM EDT to July 14th at 5:00PM EDT
From 2018 to 2020, the EU, UN Women and ILO have joined forces to promote women’s economic empowerment through the WE EMPOWER Programme. The programme promotes responsible business conduct in G7 countries, through multi-stakeholder dialogues and by leveraging the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) as a framework to strengthen commitments for gender equality. The programme brings together the private sector, public sector, and civil society stakeholders to support the implementation of the G7 Roadmap for a gender-responsive economic environment.
Online Discussion Agenda
- Alexandrina Satnoiau, European Institute for Gender Equality
- Anna Falth, UN Women
July 8th, 11:00AM-12:00PM EDT: Leveraging Civil Society Networks to strengthen women's entrepreneurship
- Rebeca Sancho de Mayoral , Enterprise Europe Network
- Charlene Lambert, Women's Entrepreneurship Platform
- Vicki Saunders, SheEO
1. What role can civil society play in strengthening the women's entrepreneurial ecosystem? Please share examples if any.
2. What international, national, regional, or local policies and programs are in place to increase the number, growth, and sustainability of women-owned enterprises? Which are the most successful and why? What criteria are used to assess success?
3. How can governments invest in civil society organizations to support women’s entrepreneurship?
4. How can we build a strong infrastructure to support women’s entrepreneurship? / How can we enable a strong ecosystem to support women’s entrepreneurship?
July 9th, 10:00AM-11:00AM EDT: Building Inclusive Supply Chains
- Elizabeth Vazquez, WeConnect International
- Sanja Popovic Pantic, Enterprise Europe Network Sectoral Group on Women Entrepreneurship
1. How can supply chains become more resilient and inclusive?
2. What are the examples of effective public procurement policies and programs? How were these interventions created? What are the gaps in these policies and programs?
3. How can the government work closer with the private sector to develop supplier diversity and procurement programs with a focus on supporting diverse women entrepreneurs?
4. How can women entrepreneurs foster solidarity with other business women? How can the Women's Empowerment Principles serve as such tool?
July 9th, 12:00PM-1:00PM EDT: Innovative Financial Instruments and Financial Literacy
- Jill Earthy, Women's Enterprise Center
- Amparo de San José, IESE Business Angels Network
1. What financial supports can be deployed to enhance ecosystem supports for women entrepreneurs? What capital and program supports have been offered and what are the take-up and impacts of these interventions?
2. How can the government better support scaling women-owned businesses (e.g., women-focused accelerators, the inclusion of mainstream business support services)?3. What innovative financial instruments can governments deploy to enhance ecosystem supports for women entrepreneurs?
July 10th, 10:00AM-11:00AM EDT: Social Protection and the Crisis of Care
- Nora Spinks, Vanier Institute of the Family
- Blandine Mollard, European Institute for Gender Equality
1. How can we expand social protections to include women entrepreneurs?
2. Recognizing the disproportionate role that women play in providing care, how can governments ease caregiver responsibilities through targeted policies and programs?3. What role can the private sector play in encouraging equal uptake of care responsibilities?
July 10th, 12:00PM-1:00PM EDT: Digital Economy and E-commerce Solutions
- Cheryl Miller van Dÿck, Digital Leadership Institute
- Deloris Wilson, Axl Impact Studio
- Marina Santalices Amigo, Google
1. How can we support women entrepreneurs' access technology to compete in the digital economy?
2. How can we support the digital transformation for women entrepreneurs to build their businesses online?
July 13th, 12:00PM-1:00PM EDT: Entrepreneurship skill-building, combatting stereotypes, inclusive entrepreneurship
- Kellie Kreiser, Thunderbird School of Management, Arizona State University
- Tania Saba, Universite de Montreal
- Nancy Wilson, Canadian Women's Chamber of Commerce
1. How can governments encourage women’s entrepreneurship by busting stereotypes on entrepreneurship? Please share some effective campaigns.
2. What supports are needed to enable inclusive women's entrepreneurship?
July 14th, 9:00AM-10:00AM EDT: The Way Forward - Inclusion and Collaboration at the Heart of Recovery Efforts
- Zoe Dean-Smith, Vital Voices Global Partnership
- Barbara Orser, University of Ottawa
- Gabriela Kostovska Bogoeska, WEgate
1. How can we ensure women business leaders are at the forefront of recovery response and strategies? (This is a broad question to elicit a variety of responses, and we welcome all perspectives from various thematic and stakeholder perspectives including public sector, private sector, and civil society).
- Following your participation in the online discussion, we kindly ask you to fill out this survey.
- For information on the Women's Empowerment Principles, and how businesses and corporations can take concrete steps to achieve gender equality in the workplace, marketplace, and society as a whole, visit weps.org.
- Check out the Empowering Women At Work Resource
- We invite you to join our webinar on September 9th 2020 where we will present the reccommendations put forth in these discussions. See event page here