THE STORY EXCHANGE LAUNCHES A GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE VISIBILITY OF WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS
Women-owned businesses in the U.S. are growing faster than the national average and are helping to drive the economic recovery. But here, as in the rest of the world, they still face obstacles, are often overlooked by policymakers, and are unseen as role models.
"It is vital that we create a new narrative of entrepreneurship. The stories and the optic are so often male," said Victoria Wang, co-founder of The Story Exchange. "Our 1,000 Stories campaign will give women a platform and reveal their entrepreneurial needs."
Facts on women-owned firms:
- There are an estimated 187 million women starting and running businesses in 59 economies studied by GEM, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
- Over the last five years the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. increased by 50 percent to 8.3 million. These businesses generate nearly $1.3 trillion in revenue and employ nearly 7.7 million people in the U.S., according to research commissioned by American Express OPEN.
- BUT women seeking first-year financing receive about 80 percent less capital than men in the U.S., according to research funded by the Kaufmann Foundation.
- Globally, women start ventures with eight times less funding than their male counterparts, according to GEM.
The 1,000 Stories campaign will include a survey – the first of its kind -- that will examine the experiences of women business-owners who have agreed to answer personal as well as business-related questions.
"This initiative will allow women around the world to learn the stories, challenges and best practices of other women entrepreneurs so that others can benefit from their successes and gain inspiration," said Candida Brush, Chair, Entrepreneurship Division at Babson College.
"The project is a natural extension of The Story Exchange videos, which reflect the variety of career decisions and pathways that women entrepreneurs take to achieve their dreams," Brush said.
The Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College will help analyze the submissions to deliver a final report with recommendations.
About The Story Exchange
The Story Exchange is a global video project empowering women to achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. It is a project of The Story Exchange Foundation, which promotes the economic independence of women and girls globally through partnerships with media organizations, educational institutions and businesses.
About The Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership
The Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College is a learning laboratory focused at the intersection of gender and entrepreneurial leadership.