infoDev launches M...

infoDev launches Mekong Women's Entrepreneurship Challenge

Contest aims to empower women in Lao PDR, Cambodia, Vietnam

As part of a broader agenda of inclusive, equitable growth, infoDev and Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC) inaugurated the Mekong Women's Entrepreneurship Challenge in Lao PDR (MWEC Lao) on International Women's Day, March 8, 2012.

Statistics on Women in Lao

The challenge tackles problems that women in developing countries identify as major impediments to female-led firms--lack of relevant business information and knowledge, lack of supportive networks, and lack of self-confidence, in addition to cultural barriers.

The goal of the program is to facilitate the expansion of women-owned businesses. For this purpose, MWEC will provide qualified women the necessary tools to improve and grow their businesses, including financing, one on one support, peer-based learning, training workshops and seminars. The program focuses on highly motivated women who are small business owners or managers eager to expand their businesses.

The selected women entrepreneurs will benefit from the following:

  • US$5,000 Grant Per Selected Entrepreneur: for improving and expanding their businesses.
  • Innovation, Competitiveness and Creativity Workshop: focusing on innovation development, entrepreneurship and business proposal training.
  • One on One Support and Professional Coaching: addressing individual challenges and concerns.
  • Seminars and Workshops: exposure to leading industry experts and networking opportunities.
  • Peer Learning: training focusing on such topics as marketing, resource management and budgeting.

The MWEC will build on the experiences of the World Bank-led STEPS (Supporting Talent Entrepreneurial Potential & Success Program), a two-year program supporting young female entrepreneurs and start-ups. To complement STEPS, the MWEC will primarily target later-stage women-led enterprises with growth potential.


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