Skoll World Forum 2014: Unlocking Entrepreneurial Women

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is challenging regardless of who you are, but, if you’re a woman it can be especially difficult, even in 2014. Despite all of the wonderful human rights and technological advances the world has seen over the course of the past few decades, gender equality still seems to plague the corporate world, especially in the case of startups and tech companies. But although these industries are largely male dominated, it’s female entrepreneurs that are currently capturing the attention of governments and corporations from around the world and spearheading the economic growth in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, and Thailand. With entrepreneurial women taking charge of creating businesses in countries around the world, it’s important to highlight the skills, knowledge, and attributes that have made them successful and share them with other aspiring female entrepreneurs, which is exactly what the Skoll World’s “Unlocking Entrepreneurial Women” forum focused on.

You can watch the full forum discussion in the video below:

Throughout the course of the 74 minute conversation, the Unlocking Entrepreneurial Women forum touched on a number of important topics including the traits that entrepreneurial women possess, why female entrepreneurship is an “economic promise,” and how women around the world can overcome the various financial and legal barriers they face when trying to start a business.

The forum hosted panelists Comfort Aku Adjahoe, CEO of Ele Agbe Co. Ltd, Rosemary Amondy, CEO and Founder of TraceSoft, Catherine Gill, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Operations for Root Capital, and Hirut Girma, Attorney and Land Tenure/Gender Specialist for Landesa. It was moderated by Melanne Verveer, the Executive Director for Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

While it’s hard to sum up the entirety of the forum due to it’s detailed topics and in-depth discussion, it’s easy to takeaway one overarching theme which is that women have a place in the entrepreneurial and it’s right alongside their male counterparts. Despite the fact that women are leading business initiatives around the world, more so than men, they still encounter many roadblocks that prevent them from accomplishing their goals. Be it financial, legal, social, or religious, there are many more boundaries that are placed upon women in the business world, making them overcome obstacles and hardships that are absent for businessmen. After sharing their own personal experiences and successes as female entrepreneurs, the panelists main goal of the forum was to provide inspiration and guidance for aspiring female entrepreneurs and shed light on the inequalities that continue to face women in the workplace. By talking about these topics and sharing their wisdom, they hope to encourage more women to start businesses and change the social laws that govern female entrepreneurs.


Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands

Murray Newlands is YourStory’s US Correspondent and Deputy Editor of Search Engine Journal. Murray founded The Mail in 2013, an angel-funded startup publication covering performance marketing and mobile marketing. Murray is an advisor to a number of bay area startups and has authored several books.