Press release: UN Women and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women form new partnership to accelerate women’s economic empowerment


United Nations, New York — At the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, UN Women and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women today announced a new partnership which will see the collaboration between UN Women’s Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment and the Cherie Blair Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme.

Over the next 12 months, UN Women and the Cherie Blair Foundation will work together to support women’s economic empowerment through a range of projects — including by linking women entrepreneurs from the Foundation’s mentoring programme with the Knowledge Gateway and offering the mentoring opportunity to members of the Knowledge Gateway community.

“This kind of collaboration is vital, and is a testimony to the engagement of all sectors of society to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women. “The Knowledge Gateway offers an opportunity to reach millions of women and girls worldwide and at all levels of society. Mentoring and support is the catalyst that many women need to truly unlock their potential and achieve the goals they have set for themselves, whether it is to improve their businesses, get a bank loan, bring new tools to their farms, use a computer or to make their dream of an income and independence, a reality.” 

The Knowledge Gateway for Women’s Economic Empowerment, launched in September 2013, is a global community established to share resources and tools for women’s economic empowerment, crowdsource feedback on innovative ideas and to connect women entrepreneurs and workers with experts, peers and networks, as well as Knowledge Gateway partners for concrete learning and growth opportunities. In its first six months alone has attracted more than 40,000 visitors from over 180 countries and has garnered more than 1,700 registered members, and 15 global partners to support women entrepreneurs, workers, farmers as well as policymakers. The Gateway also supports grass-roots women and men through a revolving group of ‘Global Community Champions’ from diverse countries and backgrounds with a focus on exchange of experiences, learning and advocacy for women’s economic empowerment.

“At the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, we are delighted to join forces with UN Women using innovative online tools. By linking women entrepreneurs we support through our Mentoring Programme with the Knowledge Gateway, our mentees will have access to a rich set of resources to further build their enterprises, skills and confidence. We are equally pleased to welcome the members of the Knowledge Gateway community to our mentoring programme as mentees, where they will have an opportunity to work with a mentor to further develop their businesses,” said Sevi Simavi, CEO of the Foundation.

The Cherie Blair Foundation’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme combines mentoring with technology to offer cross-border support to women entrepreneurs. This innovative programme matches women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets with male and female mentors around the world. Using the Cherie Blair Foundation’s online platform, the mentees and their mentors spend 12 months working one-on-one to achieve key business goals. Participants build their business skills and digital literacy through the Foundation’s trainings and become part of a global community of committed, ambitious entrepreneurs who are invested in each other’s success.

About Cherie Blair Foundation

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provides women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets with the skills, technology, networks and access to finance that they need to become successful small and growing business owners, so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies. Working in partnership with local and international non-profit organizations, the private and public sector, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women develops projects with sustainable solutions to the challenges women entrepreneurs face through three programmes: Enterprise Development, Mentoring, and Mobile Technology.