Evening Edition

For your reading pleasure:

  • Government and Inflation: After meeting with the Cabinet Committee on Prices, PM Manmohan Singh announced a multitude of measures to rein in inflation. In related news, rising prices could deal a significant blow to the US-India nuclear agreement due to the potential for political fallout.
  • Microfinance: VC Circle reports that Lok Capital, a micro-finance focused VC fund will be in investing $1.25 million in Delhi based MFI Satin Creditcare Network Ltd. Staying with Microfinance, Govt. of India is introducing a scheme called ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’ (RSBY), which will provide cashless health insurance to families living below poverty line, using smart-card technology (via igovernment.in)
  • Higher Education: Economic Times reports that 29 Indian students from colleges across the country have been chosen to participate in the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Program (GSGLP). They get a $3000 grant and a chance to participate in the Goldman Sachs Summer Leadership Institute.

[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.

Goldman Sachs to Provide Management Education to Women Social Entrepreneurs

While the work of microfinance institutions such as Grameen Bank and Unitus have done wonders to empower women in developing countries, these budding entrepreneurs continue to lack any formal business training. To address this dearth in education, Goldman Sachs announced last week that it will invest $100 million over the next five years to provide management education to help women microfinance clients scale up their businesses.

In an announcement at Columbia University in New York City, Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said the company is hoping to create a new model of management education designed to help these women learn everything from how to write a business plan to market their own business. The company will be teaming up with a coalition of top business schools, including Wharton, Columbia, Harvard, and Thunderbird School of Global Management is teaming up with the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul to develop a certificate program and a training program for professors.

“This could be the start of something transformational around the world,” says Ruth Simmons, president of Brown University, which will work with the University of Cape Town Business School in South Africa to create a new business training certificate program.

Microcapital.org writes that in addition to funding the program Goldman also intends to build a network of female entrepreneurs throughout the world.

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