For the Women Entrepreneurs Mean Business Summit, we explored and challenged the gender stereotypes holding women entrepreneurs back from success and equality.

Because we won’t wait 250+ years for women to have economic equality.

Our world-leading Women Entrepreneurs Mean Business virtual summit (9 – 19 Nov 2021) brought together Cherie Blair CBE QC (watch here), Hillary Rodham Clinton (watch here), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Indra Nooyi, Hon. Julia Gillard AC, Rebecca Enonchong, Fadé Ogunro, Dr. Linda Scott, Anne Kiguta, Barkha Dutt, Henriette Kolb, Shirin Behzadi and many more incredible entrepreneurs, thought leaders and activists. Together, the Foundation, speakers and attendees are united by our refusal to wait the 268 years it is currently predicted to take for women to have economic equality with men.

Women Entrepreneurs Mean Business is for business leaders, policymakers, economic empowerment practitioners, women entrepreneurs themselves and others interested in advancing women’s entrepreneurship across the world.

The summit offered inspiring keynote speeches, informative presentations, panel discussions, networking, and development opportunities for women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries, as well as the release of the Foundation’s important new research report on how gender stereotypes affect women’s journeys to entrepreneurship.

Event information

  • 9 – 19 November 2021
  • 1 to 5pm GMT daily
  • Online event
  • Free-of-charge
  • Full programme available here

The summit’s four days explored the following themes:

  • Day 1 – Tuesday, 9 November: We Won’t Wait for Equality: Ending the stereotypes blocking women entrepreneurs
  • Day 2 – Thursday, 11 November: Inclusive Supply Chains: Creating equal opportunities for women in supply chains
  • Day 3 – Tuesday, 16 November: Digital Futures: Women entrepreneurs won’t be left behind by tech
  • Day 4 – Friday, 19 November: Unlocking the Next Generation: Driving change for young women entrepreneurs through finance and the media

Together, we set out the clear case for eradicating the gender gap in entrepreneurship and supporting women entrepreneurs, identifying strong calls to action for different stakeholders at every level.

You can download the full programme here and watch recordings of each session below.


Keynote speech: Ending the Stereotypes: Mapping the Way to Success and Equality
Cherie Blair CBE QC, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women


In conversation: Breaking Glass Ceilings
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67th United States Secretary of State
Barkha Dutt, Journalist


In conversation: Turning Waste Into Impact
Chioma Ukono, Co-Founder and COO, Recyclepoints, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women alumna
Cherie Blair CBE QC, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women


Panel discussion: Tearing Down the Gender Stereotypes in Entrepreneurship
Barkha Dutt (Moderator), Journalist
Helen McEachern, CEO, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Former Executive Director, UN Women
Ngozi Oyewole, Founder and MD, Noxie Ltd
Amy Stursberg, Executive Director, Blackstone Charitable Foundation


Panel discussion: Cross-Border Mentoring to Level the Playing Field
Efe Olokpa (Moderator), Programme Manager – Mentoring Intakes, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Van Dang, Founder and CEO, Savvycom, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women alumna
Kenrick Fraser, Global Employee Volunteerism and Engagement Lead, Social Innovation, PayPal
Zara Jeffery, Global Director, Social Impact Partnerships and Programmes, Marsh McLennan
Justin Kwan, Program Manager, APEC-Canada Growing Business Partnership, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


Power talk: Dare to Try: The Transformative Power of Entrepreneurship
Shirin Behzadi, CEO, Public Speaker, Entrepreneur, Board Director


In conversation: Life and Leadership
Indra Nooyi, Former Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo
Tanya Joseph, Group Managing Director, Hill and Knowlton Strategies, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Trustee


Panel discussion: Equality in Supply
Sarah Kitakule (Moderator), Private Sector Development Specialist, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Trustee
Heather Kipnis, Sr. Operations Officer – Global Lead, Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Business, IFC
Norah Odwesso, Senior Director, Social Impact, The Coca-Cola Company
Nina Patil, Founder, Fresh Express India, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women alumna


Presentation: Road to Growth
Hayley Matthews, Senior Partnerships Manager – Trusts and Foundations, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Elizabeth Wells, Acting Head of Women’s Entrepreneurship, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women


Masterclass: The Role of SMEs in Promoting the SDGs
UN Global Compact


Power talk: Navigating crossroads: Building Personal Resilience as a Woman Entrepreneur

Beatriz Gasca Acevedo, Human Resources and Social Responsibility Expert, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Global Campaign Board Chair (Latin America)


Power talk: Bias in Value Chains


Keynote speech: Digitalization: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs to Participate More Equitably in Markets
Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and CEO, AppsTech


Keynote speech: Paving the Way for Women to Overcome the Gender Gap in Technology
Regina Honu, Founder and CEO, Soronko, Solutions Academy


Panel discussion: Development of Women-Led MSMEs for the Digital Economy
Geeta Guru-Murthy (Moderator), Journalist and Presenter, BBC
Angela Baker, Senior Director of Corporate Responsibility, Qualcomm Inc
Henriette Kolb, Head of the Gender and Economic, Inclusion Group, IFC
Fadé Ogunro, Founder and CEO, Bookings Africa and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Global Campaign Board Chair (Africa)
Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Digital Inclusion, Mobile for Development Team, GSMA


Presentation: HerVenture
Hayley Matthews, Senior Partnerships Manager – Trusts and Foundations, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
Elizabeth Wells, Acting Head of Women’s Entrepreneurship, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women


Masterclass: E-Commerce: Get Started
DHL Express


Masterclass: E-Commerce: Power Up Your Potential
DHL Express


Keynote speech: Unlocking the Power of Young Women Entrepreneurs
Hon. Julia Gillard AC, 27th Prime Minister of Australia


Power talk: On Women Entrepreneurs and the Impact of Gender Stereotypes
Helen McEachern, CEO, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women


Panel discussion: Driving Equal Access to Finance for Young Women Entrepreneurs
Mallika Kapur (Moderator), Deputy Global Editor, Bloomberg Live
Adenike Adeyemi, Executive Director, Fate Foundation
Sofía Benjumea, Head of Google for Startups—EMEA, Google
Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat, World Bank
Anita Tiessen, CEO, Youth Business International


Panel discussion: The Media Taking a Lead
Anne Kiguta (Moderator), Journalist
Mallika Kapur, Deputy Global Editor, Bloomberg Live
Michele (Mitch) Oliver, Global Corporate Brand and Purpose Director, Mars, Incorporated and Deputy Vice Chair, Unstereotype Alliance
Japleen Pasricha, Founder and CEO, Feminism in India


Masterclass: Taking the Leap: Breaking Through Barriers as a Young Woman Entrepreneur
Fadé Ogunro, Founder and CEO, Bookings Africa, and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women Global Campaign Board Chair (Africa)

Headline sponsor


Leading sponsors

100,000 Women Animation

We’re directly supporting 100,000 more women to start & grow successful businesses

Women Entrepreneurs Mean Business will also launch the final year of our ambitious and impactful 100,000 Women Campaign, which is raising £10 million in order to directly support another 100,000 women entrepreneurs across 2020, 2021 and 2022. Join us on our mission today!

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