The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has recently announced that more than 2 000 women entrepreneurs living in over 90 developing and emerging economies have already been supported and empowered by its Mentoring Women in Business Programme in the past six years.
This figure includes about 230 women in South Africa, and most of these women have since reported an increase in confidence, in business skills, and achieving business goals and finding ways around barriers.
The programme uses technology to offer cross-border support, connecting women entrepreneurs with men and women mentors from around the world, the London-based organisation said.
And over the course of a year, women entrepreneurs work online with a dedicated mentor to achieve key goals and drive business growth.
The programme, established in 2010, is supported by the Qualcomm Wireless Reach initiative, Bank of America and Marsh & McLennan Companies.
The foundation is the initiative of Cherie Blair, wife of former British PM Tony Blair.
“Technology is a real game-changer. By combining mentoring with technology, we can connect women entrepreneurs with life-changing mentors from opposite corners of the globe, forging connections which would otherwise be impossible,” Cherie Blair, the foundation’s founder, said.
“For women in emerging regions, owning and using mobile technology is opening up new worlds and creating new channels of communication,” Angela Baker, director of Government Affairs and lead for Wireless Reach, said.
“Mobile technology ultimately enables them to learn new skills, find work-related opportunities and further their careers, which is why we are so proud of this collaboration,” Baker added.
“The inspirational stories of the mentees in our programme are proof that mentoring can play a powerful role in empowering women to realise their ambitions, and play a full role in our societies and economies,” Cherie Blair explained.
Cherie’s husband, Blair, will be best remembered for teaming up with former US President George W Bush to send troops to Iraq in 2003 to ‘unfairly’ overthrow Iraqi President Sadaam Hussein.
But that did not deter his wife to get involved in humanitarian projects aiming of making a difference in people’s lives.