Press Release: Facebook, UN Women help female entrepreneurs boost their businesses
Date: 02 June 2015
(Cape Town, South Africa) Facebook, in support of UN Women, is hosting a Boost Your Business workshop for women Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) owners in Cape Town today.
More than 200 women entrepreneurs are attending the event at the Pepper Club Hotel, where they are networking and receiving advice on growing their businesses. They are also sharing ideas with each other on how to run a socially responsible business with gender equality and women’s empowerment at its core.
As hosts of this workshop, Facebook and UN Women aim to advance women’s economic empowerment.
Globally, only half of women participate in the labour force, compared to three-quarters of men. In developing regions, up to 95 per cent of women’s employment is informal, in jobs that are unprotected by labour laws, lack social protection, with limited access to resources and information. Enhancing women’s economic empowerment is one of the five top priority areas of UN Women.
“Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth,” says Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director and UN Under-Secretary-General. “Ultimately, advancing women-owned SMEs pays dividends in terms of jobs and improved development outcomes, including gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.”
SMEs are the engines for job growth in the world economy, accounting for 80 per cent of jobs worldwide. In South Africa, for every 10 adult men engaged in entrepreneurship, there are 8 women. Data shows that global GDP could rise by as much as 2 per cent, or USD 1.5 trillion dollars, if women and men entrepreneurs could participate equally. It could rise by USD 13-18 billion dollars if 600 million more women had access to the Internet across 144 developing countries.
“We believe that technology can be a game-changer for women and girls – in particular for women-owned SMEs. Our EmpowerWomen.org online platform gives women entrepreneurs in over 190 countries access to business success stories, resources and tools directly from their mobile devices. This way, technology becomes an accelerator for women to start and grow prosperous companies that can transform our society and create equal opportunities for all,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.
Facebook’s Head of Public Policy in Africa, Ebele Okobi, says: “We see SMEs as the backbone of the economy and growing female-owned businesses as critical to South Africa’s growth and development. As a platform that democratises marketing, Facebook can help them grow.
“We’re happy to share our ideas at today’s workshop about how effective, easy to use, and mobile social media solutions can help female entrepreneurs accelerate the growth of their businesses.”
A second Boost Your Business workshop is taking place in Johannesburg on Friday, 5 June.
UN Women – Lynn Anderson, Ph: +27 83 687 6168, Email: lynn.anderson[at]unwomen.org
Facebook – Janina Boezaart, Ph: +27 72 281 2441, Email: janina[at]ideaengineers.co.za
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