Employers’ Organizations and women entrepreneurs: how to reach out?

Over recent decades, women’s participation in labour markets has increased substantially. Such a trend can also be observed in the number of female-owned and managed businesses. However, the entrepreneurial gap between women and men is still wide, even in advanced economies. Female entrepreneurship is an important, untapped source of economic growth.

When engaging in entrepreneurial activities, women seem to face greater challenges in developing their enterprises, scaling up, and creating jobs for others. Employers’ Organizations (EOs) are well placed to deliver solutions to these challenges, as they can provide women business owners and managers with greater access and support in lobbying, policy-making, advisory and business-related services.

There are many opportunities for EOs to enlarge the size and broaden the composition of their membership and to increase the relevance of their activities by encouraging more women entrepreneurs into their ranks through tailored advice, services or networking opportunities.

It is in this context that a platform for discussion and exchange among selected employer organizations’ representatives worldwide will take place from 23 to 25 November 2011 at the Turin Centre.

The objective of this workshop is to discuss and share experiences on a number of issues, such as:

  • What are the global trends concerning female entrepreneurship today? Are there tangible differences between female and male entrepreneurship? If yes, which ones?
  • How can EOs recruit and retain women entrepreneurs? How should EOs communicate their added value? How can women be given a voice within the organizations?
  • What are the constraints on women doing business? How can EOs’ advocacy efforts be more effective? Which lobbying priorities should EOs select? What’s the impact?
  • What are the needs of women entrepreneurs? How can EOs effectively respond to them? Is there a recipe for success?

To stimulate reflection and knowledge transfer, expert guest speakers and representatives of both EOs and women entrepreneurs’ associations will present case studies and contribute to the topics.

Workshop participants will jointly draft practical recommendations for EOs on how to reach out efficiently to women entrepreneurs. These recommendations will form the backbone of guidance material to be developed by the ITC-ILO in 2012.

More info at: http://lempnet.itcilo.org/en

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