[Guest Post]: Business skills for rural women

Editors Note: Guest Blogger Keyzom Ngodup works with Intellecap, a pioneering social venture capital firm focused on making double bottom-line investments in India. In addition to capital and investment support, Intellecap is unque that they also provide a range of support services that enable social ventures to move from start-up stage into growth mode.

The entire operation of the Hajipur railway station in Bihar was handed over to an all-women team, making history and further paving way for demonstrating women’s capability to perform in a largely male dominated profession. This news comes in the wake of Goldman Sachs announcement of its USD 100 million global initiative 10,000 Women. The effort is aimed at providing business acumen to women in emerging economies through partnerships with 16 MBA programs like Wharton, Columbia and Stanford. As Goldman’s 16-page research on women (available for download here) shows, education of women is the key driver of macroeconomic growth. The project is also designed so that Goldman’s people in the United States and overseas can lend their brainpower by serving as mentors to women entrepreneurs. Goldman’s Sandra Lawson writes:

... greater investments in female education could yield a ‘growth premium’ that raises trend GDP growth by about 0.2% per year. Narrowing the gender gap in employment – which is one potential consequence of expanded female education – could push income per capita as much as 14% higher than our baseline projections by 2020, and as much as 20% higher by 2030.

Interestingly, the Mann Deshi group of organizations in Maharashtra runs a business school for rural women alongside business school on-wheels for rural women in Maharashtra and northern Karnataka. The story on Mann Deshi will be covered in detail in the Human Resources Challenges issue by Microfinance Insights, a quarterly flagship publication of Intellecap focused on collecting and disseminating microfinance analysis across countries and sectors.

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