Hosted by the National Council of Women of New Zealand
Report of Monday 8 November 2010
DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE – WOMEN AS ENTREPRENEURS
Facilitator – Angela McLeod President of BPW New Zealand
Following Angela’s introduction, the morning was devoted to defining What a Woman Entrepreneur was and identifying Barriers for Women in Business.
The session was lively with full audience participation and it soon became obvious that there was a good mix of business experience amongst the International attendees.
Training moved on to How We Overcome These Barriers? How We Start a Business? and How We Fund a Venture. Again the audience contributed insights and solutions to these questions. Two women stepped up to ask for help, one to start a business and one to buy a business. These were used as case studies. Each group selected one scenario and did a SWAT analysis followed by a basic business plan and a cash flow projection. As a result both women were appreciative of the suggestions and insights provided to them.
What we learned was that that conditions in one country may not be appropriate in another but the objectives were similar.
Viva Kohlmann, a lawyer from Israel, described to the audience a scheme called ‘Women in Business’ which was set up to help plan, implement and mentor women in business. Some funding was provided by the Government and the scheme was proving to be successful.
Joanna Collinge, Executive Director, New Zealand Human Rights Commission gave a thoughtful address entitled ‘Human Rights and Business’. She quoted a survey by the World Bank on women in business which found that corporate Social Responsibility was driven by women generally. This did not impede the drive for financial success as was shown by some examples given of successful women in business around the world
Ms Collinge acknowledged that the bottom line impacted on positive/negative human rights practices in business and the challenge was to find a way to respect, direct and implement human rights without losing a competitive advantage. ILO Standards and Environmental Laws have protocols in place because of signed Treaties. It has been recognised that setting targets that have practical ways to improve human rights in business is of major importance. This can be done by stating a duty to protect, by stating corporate responsibilities and by protecting human rights within our societies. Currently Guiding Principles are being developed. She warns that Governments that privatise core services should ensure human right practices before signing any agreement.
Colleen M Brooker
UNIFEM Auckland Committee (UN Women)