Women in Business Challenge invests in women entrepreneurs from emerging markets.

20-10-2011

“Although many women are starting a business they need to overcome more cultural and economic barriers than men, especially in developing countries. BiD Network, ING and ICCO are committed to support women entrepreneurs not just because equality is the right thing to do but also because they are building vibrant businesses which fight poverty locally.” says Cily Keizer, co-director of BiD Network Foundation.

In becoming part of Women in Business Challenge 2011-2012, participants will receive feedback and support in writing their business plan. Finalists will be invited for an all-expense paid business trip to the Netherlands and get access to a customized training program. Professionals will coach them to strengthen their business skills and prepare their face-to-face meeting with high-end investors.

The Women in Business Challenge is also a great opportunity to increase international visibility among investors and media. The winner is awarded tailor-made advisory services worth €5,000 from UnitedSucces, the worldwide network for business women owners. She will also run for a €5,000 cash prize awarded by ING. Submitted high quality business plans are all eligible for the BiD Network Investor Matchmaking services.

“My business trip to the Netherlands and BiD Network’s efforts to connect me with future investors… I would not have been able to get them on my own. I made a lot of contacts, I met a lot of people so the future looks great, not only for me but also for all the cassava farmers in the Philippines.” said Women in Business 2011 Winner Nathalie Arsonillo.

Marianne Olano, creator of Baycrafts and Women in Business 2010 Winner, notes “Thanks to BiD Network, I had the most unforgettable experience of my personal and business life. The opportunity to join the Women in Business Challenge has made me develop skills I didn't know I possessed. It has also widened my perspective - enabling me to see other worlds, other way of doing things, perhaps better way of doing things.”

The competition is open to women entrepreneurs of emerging countries who have created a business, which fulfills the eligibility and evaluation criteria. Since its creation in 2009, Women in Business has provided support, coaching, visibility and finance to 200 women heading business in emerging countries. 10 finalists have been supported and coached, 3 of whom have been awarded as laureates.

To learn more about Women in Business, visit www.bidnetwork.org/women
The application deadline for candidates is December 30, 2011.

Key links
- Women in Business Challenge: http://www.bidnetwork.org/women
- Women in Business Challenge 2010, video by Africa Report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_wRoZ6UdBY

Contact details
Maria Pontes, Senior Advisor and Challenges coordinator, BiD Network
Tel: +31 207 555 002 , email: maria.pontes@bidnetwork.org
Natalia Merchan, Coaching & Sector Challenges Officer, BiD Network,
Tel: +31 207 555 005, email: natalia.merchan@bidnetwork.org

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