The 5th Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship took place last week in Oxford. This powerful, inspiring forum led by Jeff Skoll and Sally Osberg celebrates and connects social entrepreneurs to the world and is making "social entrepreneurship" known to governments as well as businesses. This year's highlights were the speeches of Lord Anthony Giddens (climate change: opening plenary) former President Jimmy Carter (keynote: Skoll Awards Ceremony) and Paul Farmer and Al Gore (both in the closing plenary). There were 11 Skoll Awards given out this year and Kiva (Matt Flannery and Permal Shah) was one of them. This was the second year in the row that I attended Skoll Forum and it is an awesome experience to be 3 days in a place where you see over 700 people trying to make a world a better place. One of the ventures that I was very impressed about is E+Co which empowers local enterprises in developing countries by providing business services and financing so that these enterprises can deliver clean and affordable energy to households, businesses and communities. There are several sessions that are covered by video and are all highly recommended.
Goldman Sachs launched last week 10,000 WOMEN, an amazing initiative that will deliver business and management education to 10,000 underserved women predominantly in developing and emerging markets. Goldman Sachs will commit $100 million over the next 5 years (in addition to the time and expertise that the GS people will be dedicating on mentoring) to this initiative supporting partnerships between universities in the U.S. and Europe and business schools in emerging and developing economies. The initial partnerships are working on pragmatic, flexible and short term programs resulting in business and management certificates. Brown,Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, University of Michigan, and Wharton have already initiated academic partnerships with business schools in Africa and the Middle East for this program.
The initiative has two goals: increasing the number of underserved women receiving a business/management education and improving the quality and capacity of business/management education around the world. Expanding the entrepreneurial talent and managerial pool in developing and emerging economies -especially among women- is one of the most important means to reducing enequality and ensuring more shared economic growth. (Executive Summary)It is a remarkable initiative addressing effectively one of the most difficult obstacles for sustainable economic growth. The initiative will provide many microentrepreneurs with the much needed business/management skills that would enable them to build and expand their businesses and thus, contribute significantly to the economic growth of their countries.
10,000 Women Fact Sheet