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At the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, we know that when women entrepreneurs have the support and opportunities to thrive, the future is transformed. Businesses flourish. Attitudes shift. Communities prosper. Economies grow. And women move the world in an incredible new direction.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where women’s potential, experiences and voices far too often go unsupported, restricted or hidden. It’s astonishing to think in 2019 that no single country in the world has achieved gender equality. Women and girls everywhere are prevented from enjoying equal economic opportunities and stopped from being able to fulfil their potential. This just isn’t right, and it really doesn’t make economic sense either.

Last year, the Foundation was busy developing existing programmes and launching new projects supporting women entrepreneurs in lower- and middle-income countries. Through our Entrepreneurship programmes, we worked with local partners in India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Vietnam to provide tailored training and business development support. Our Mentoring Women in Business Programme, then in its eighth year, successfully facilitated 730 cross-border mentee-mentor relationships and by the end of 2019 had reached over 8,960 mentees and mentors to date.

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This year’s impact

20,431 women

  • In the fourteen months between November 2018 and December 2019, the Foundation supported 20,431 women entrepreneurs to build business skills, achieve financial independence and transform their lives.

59 countries

  • During this period we reached women in 59 low or middle income countries. Our work in women’s economic empowerment over the past decade has now supported over 164,000 women entrepreneurs across 105 countries.

97% gained skills

  • 97% of the women entrepreneurs who graduated from our programmes and were surveyed said they gained skills.

90% grew confidence

  • 90% of the women entrepreneurs who graduated from our programmes and were surveyed reported developing more business confidence.

1,395 new jobs created

  • The ripple effect: 1,395 new jobs had been created by mentees who graduated this year.

71% profit increase

  • 71% of mentees surveyed reported increased levels of profit.

90% increased communication skills

  • 90% of mentees to graduate from our Mentoring programme reported an increase in their business communication skills.

We are delighted to have been able to provide this support to women entrepreneurs in advance of the global pandemic, ensuring their businesses were as resilient as possible in the face of global economic uncertainty.

If you would like to find out more about the work we carried out from November 2018 to December 2019,  please download our full report, or click here to take a look at this and previous annual reports.

Looking ahead

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is committed to long-term change for women entrepreneurs, and so we were thrilled to launch our new three-year strategy around International Women’s Day in 2019. As part of this, we developed our 100,000 Women Campaign, which launched in January 2020, and will help secure the financial resources we need over the next three years to equip more than 100,000 women to participate equally as entrepreneurs.

To achieve our important goals, our Campaign is raising £10 million from individuals, companies and institutions who share our vision of a world where women and men have equal access to entrepreneurship. To find out how you can get involved in our 100,000 Women Campaign, please click here.

 

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