What is the Women in Business Southeast Asia series?
In October 2015 Connecting Founders launched the Women in Business Southeast Asia series, a capacity building program focused around monthly “network & learn” events where women entrepreneurs exchange experiences, share lessons learned, and build valuable connections. The series, sponsored by the US Embassy and Orami (a women-focused e-commerce provider), was designed to address specific business topics that have emerged as particularly relevant to women entrepreneurs based on face-to-face interviews (mentoring; brand & marketing; fear of failure; exporting; finding and retaining talent; leadership).
The Women in Business series focuses on three main GOALS:
Create new role models. Women entrepreneurs make up roughly 50% of Thailand’s businesses. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, in 2013 there were about 11 million women involved in entrepreneurship – about half in established businesses and half in start-ups. Despite these impressive numbers, there are not enough easily identifiable female role models, particularly from non-traditional female sectors. Women entrepreneurs don’t get enough visibility and media coverage. Our events celebrate women entrepreneurs from diverse fields and create new role models, real examples that people can relate to because “You can’t be what you can’t see” (LeanIn);
Build self-confidence and encourage women to dream big. Many women, particularly young women, express a strong need for a robust support system before feeling confident enough to set up their own business or to grow it to the next level. The Women in Business event offer a safe space where to discuss fear, doubts, challenges, and ask questions honestly and openly to other women that often have gone through the same experience. This allows young entrepreneurs to gain self-confidence and learn valuable lessons from real-life experiences.
Encourage women to collaborate & give back. There is a tremendous pool of extremely talented and savvy women entrepreneurs in Thailand. The Women in Business events tap into this reservoir of businesswomen to get them to share more of their lessons learned and acquired wisdom to nurture the next generation of young and aspiring women entrepreneurs. We believe that the success of a woman is the inspiration of another.
Caterina Meloni of Connecting Founders explains the vision and goals behind the Women in Business Series.