In this episode, I was delighted to have the opportunity to chat to Helen McEachern, CEO of Cherie Blair Foundation for Women who just happened to be stopping by Hong Kong.
As a charity dedicated to economic empowerment of women in developing countries through supporting women entrepreneurship, Helen will be sharing more about the challenges of gender discrimination that leads to financial exclusion for women, why entrepreneurship is a necessity rather than privilege in developing countries, and her work in ensuring that women entrepreneurs have the skills required to build successful businesses through connecting them with mentors from around the world.
What we talked about:
- Why economic empowerment is an important part of women’s rights and equalities particularly in developing countries
- Unique challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs
- How to combat against gender discrimination that leads to financial exclusion
- The role of education in empowering women entrepreneurs
- Connecting mentors from around the world to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries remotely by leveraging their online community platform and video calls
- Their biggest challenge as a charity: Funding
- Creating awareness as a charity foundation and leveraging technology to increase the reach of their online learning content
Helen’s advice for Social Entrepreneurs:
- Think through the impact you want to have, is there anyone else doing it? Can you join forces with them? It’s great to start your own business but also look into partnerships, collectives and social enterprises. There are lots of different models to make social impact and create a livelihood for yourself.
- Running a business/charity is not always easy – make sure you can get access to the learning you need to be successful