En­cour­ag­ing fe­male en­trepreneurs

Econ omist In­telli gence Unit

Middle East Business (English) - - FRONT PAGE -

In an in­ter­view with the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit, Mary Ellen Isk­ende­rian, Pres­i­dent and CEO of Women's World Bank­ing, high­lighted why gen­der equal­ity across cor­po­rate net­works is vi­tal for fu­ture global growth.

Many multi­na­tion­als are not yet ad­dress­ing the is­sue of gen­der equal­ity in their sup­ply chains be­cause it's per­haps a se­quen­tial is­sue. One of the most ef­fec­tive ways to en­sure gen­der equal­ity across the sourc­ing net­works of com­pa­nies is just by be­com­ing more aware of it. If this is some­thing that is seen to be im­por­tant, then boards should be re­quir­ing man­age­ment to re­port on gen­der sta­tis­tics. Di­ver­sity of sup­pli­ers is of­ten very im­por­tant to women work­ing within a com­pany - in ef­fect, it al­most be­comes a re­ten­tion is­sue. So the im­por­tance of fi­nance to build­ing gen­der equal­ity in a sup­ply chain can­not be over­es­ti­mated. It is the num­ber one con­straint stated by women-led com­pa­nies. Best prac­tices in sup­ply chain fi­nance for women en­trepreneurs is still emerg­ing and is fairly nascent. Recog­nis­ing that a fe­male en­tre­pre­neur is not go­ing to have col­lat­eral to pledge against a loan, but she might have that a fixed agree­ment with a buyer, so I think that a bank's will­ing­ness to be flex­i­ble in the way they pro­vide the fi­nance, and not in­sist­ing on col­lat­eral, may be the way for­ward. It may sim­ply be an is­sue of how reg­u­la­tors de­fine 'col­lat­eral' in emerg­ing mar­kets, so not to specif­i­cally re­quire 'built prop­erty' which is some­thing that men are more likely to own than women. It may mean that banks who recog­nise the as­sets that women do have take a dif­fer­ent view and adapt their lend­ing to those women, are the ones who can re­ally suc­ceed. In many of the coun­tries we're work­ing in, if the bank wants to lend to an SME they have to put up a 100% cap­i­tal charge against that loan, which is a very oner­ous re­quire­ment. Reg­u­la­tors who recog­nise that these SME sec­tor, who cold be­come part of the global sup­ply chain for some of the cor­po­rates, rep­re­sent a huge op­por­tu­nity for eco­nomic growth and job cre­ation in their coun­tries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Palestine

© PressReader. All rights reserved.