We are completely committed to supporting women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries during this difficult time and beyond.
We would like to reassure the women we work with, our partners and funders that we are working to ensure our programmes and services are delivered. Due to the online nature of many of our programmes we are hopeful that we can minimise and mitigate disruption so our valuable support continues.
We offer our thoughts to everyone affected.
Hear directly from some of the women in our programmes on how COVID-19 is impacting them:
Steps we’re taking
To better understand what was happening and how we could help we ran a short survey with women who have participated or are currently participating in our mentoring and entrepreneurship programmes. We have analysed the results and started to tailor our products and services accordingly in response to the findings. You can find our full report here.
We continue to deliver all of our programmes – the need for them has proven to be greater than ever now. Fortunately, our experience with technology and the online nature of many of our services, like our global online Mentoring Women in Business programme, has helped us be a relevant resource and adapt quickly.
We are rapidly creating and repurposing resources to strengthen women’s skills to respond now and to emerge as well as possible from the crisis and be well equipped to rebuild their futures. This includes:
- Re-releasing existing webinars and training materials as freely available on our website with practical advice for women entrepreneurs, in our new Business Skills Resources section
- Creating and bolstering networks, supporting women to connect with each other and to access our resources through our new LinkedIn group.
- Providing additional support to Mentors to ensure that could provide increased pastoral support to mentees.
- Producing webinars by our mentors, which will be opened up to a larger global audience of women entrepreneurs rather than just women in our programmes.
- Providing additional training on what respondents reported needs: personal resilience, business diversification, business resilience, financial management, online marketing, e-commerce and more.
- Giving the women in our programmes the option of sharing their experiences through our website and other digital channels so that their voices can be heard and they can help others.
- Developing a new, free, open-access online programme of business resilience training with Cambridge Wireless and King’s College London — available now
- Partnering with School of Marketing to deliver additional marketing resources, in response to the need expressed by survey respondents.
- Using online testing methodologies and, in partnership with DHL, launching the HerVenture training app for women entrepreneurs in Kenya. We hope to add e-commerce and expand this support in the coming months.
- Working right now to have the app available again with updated content for women in Nigeria, Vietnam and Indonesia in the next few months thanks to partnerships with ExxonMobil Foundation, Qualcomm, and USAID.
- Seeking secure additional nominating partners for our Mentoring programme – and thus more mentors – following the clear finding from this survey that women entrepreneurs need mentors more than ever
- Producing and sharing blogs, podcasts and other resources which also focus on the needs and topics women reported.
How can you support us?
With major implications for economies, businesses and entrepreneurs around the globe, the need for our work during this time increases. If you are able to help by making a donation today you’ll be enabling us to continue and expand the services women entrepreneurs need more than ever to support their families, communities and societies for years to come.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or queries, or would like to speak to one of our team, please get in touch here.