This commitment will directly impact the lives of 300 underserved Liberian women and an additional 100 women throughout Africa. There is also a strong focus on capacity building: developing curricula, creating local case-study models, and 'Training the Trainers' to improve the level of faculty training and expertise as well as increasing the overall quality of business education. These investments will help improve the quality and capacity of local business education to the benefit both men and women in these communities.
Goldman Sachs commits to establishing a new partnership in Liberia, working with CHF International (CHF) to train 300 underserved Liberian women over five years in business and management in order to create a larger pool of potential loan recipients for the Liberian Enterprise Development Company (LEDFC) announced at CGI in 2006. LEDFC represents a million collaboration between Robert L. Johnson, CHF and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). LEDFC represents 50 percent of the loan capital available to small businesses in Liberia, and estimates that this initial investment will meet the credit needs of over 1,500 businesses.
Additionally, Goldman Sachs, pledges to provide business education to an additional 100 women selected by the Forum for African Women Educationalists <http://www.fawe.org/> (FAWE) in countries such as Zambia , and Nigeria, of which some will receive scholarships to attend a 5-month certificate program at the Enterprise Development Services (EDS) that uses a hands-on case study approach to develop core skills of women owners of small and medium-sized businesses, such as sales and marketing, strategies for growth and writing a business plan.
Quality business and entrepreneurial education, and, therefore, the number of entrepreneurs and managers, are in short supply in the developing world, and Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women initiative is designed to be a significant step toward creating a sharper focus on these dimensions of development. 10,000 Women supports partnerships with universities and development organizations to provide a generation of women in under-served areas around the world with a business and management education. In the process, these partnerships help future generations of women and men by strengthening the underlying quality and capacity of business education through hundreds of professors trained, new innovative curricula, and a series of locally relevant case studies.
Building on 30 previously-announced academic partnerships, 10,000 Women will be announcing a new partnership in Liberia, working with CHF International (CHF) to train 300 underserved Liberian women over five years in business and management in order to create a larger pool of potential loan recipients for the Liberian Enterprise Development Company (LEDFC) announced at CGI in 2006. LEDFC represents a million collaboration between Robert L. Johnson, CHF and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). LEDFC represents 50 percent of the loan capital available to small businesses in Liberia, and estimates that this initial investment will meet the credit needs of over 1,500 businesses. Through a partnership with FAWE, an additional 100 women will be selected to participate in business training programs, some of which will be trained through a well-established 5-month certificate program at the Enterprise Development Services (EDS). By creating successful, innovative businesses, they will become financially independent / self-sufficient and will additionally become active contributors to the economic development of their communities and countries through the creation of additional jobs. This collaboration marks a unique expansion of the 10,000 Women Initiative by leveraging Goldman Sachs' convening power to partner entities to not only arm underserved women with the necessary business skills, but also to assist them in accessing sources of capital.
Goldman Sachs launched 10,000 Women in March of 2008. The initiative plans to announce the Liberia partnership in September 2008 and the partnership will begin in Liberia in February 2009.
In Liberia, Goldman Sachs will fund a short term certificate program delivered by Cuttington University to train 300 underserved Liberian women over five years in business management and to develop quality business plans in order to access capital. CHF International, which is currently managing LEDFC, will administer the certificate program. CHF will develop a referral system to target women through LEDFC and other commercial banks, the Liberia Business Association (LIBA), and the Liberian Women's Chamber of Commerce. Program participants will include those whose loan applications have not been approved by LEDFC due to inadequate business plans and their lack of knowledge about certain business fundamentals. The program will be 150 hours of classroom learning offered in the evenings and on weekends over a period of 4 months.
Additionally, FAWE will select 100 underserved young women and, working in close partnership with the local business schools that are already linked to the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program enroll them in the program so that these women receive a solid set of entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to create and successfully run their own businesses.
As a whole, 10,000 Women will monitor and measure the program on a continuous basis through a metrics system we are building with The Bridgespan Group, one of the most highly regarded and independent consultancies on philanthropic activities. Key performance measures - beyond basic participation numbers - include job creation, revenue increases, increased access to capital, and efforts to pay forward educational and mentoring opportunities.
In Liberia, CHF will also conduct ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the program based on a results-based performance-monitoring plan that will include standard indicators for SME training that will be tracked and monitored by CHF staff.
Among other matrices, it will track the number of women who completed all the training modules; number of women who received training in one or more modules; number of women who received a business loan after completing the training; dropout and retention rates, etc. The assessment will be used to refine the program to make it purely market driven and sustainable.