The core of the 10,000 Women Peru Entrepreneurship and Leadership Program is focused on two key concepts: accelerating growth of participant businesses, and connecting business education to access to capital.
To facilitate business development and growth, Thunderbird will leverage the proven structure and curriculum they have already developed for the existing Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women certificate program in Afghanistan. The curriculum will be based on the building blocks of business and creating a business plan, and will consist of 150 classroom hours delivered over the course of 6 months to one year. Thunderbird will work with a leading university in Peru and IDB's Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) to further expand and localize the content.
In order to directly link business education to access to capital, the women participating in the program will be clients of micro-finance institutions who are currently running small enterprises and receiving loans between ,000 and ,000. Not only will they already have a lending history and a designated loan officer, but the program will seek to further facilitate access to funding by incorporating strategies for short, mid, and long term growth investment into their business plan process and by providing a platform for those plans to be discussed with their bank. In addition, mentoring, networking, access to trade associations, and involvement in annual business expos will be part of the program
Additionally, the IDB is working with Mibanco on a million line of credit that will be made available for loans to women business owners, so there will be an additional pool of money available to provide further access to capital specifically for women.
Lastly, capacity building is also a significant component of this program. Professors from the university in Peru selected to work in partnership on the initiative will visit Thunderbird throughout the program to participate in high level international business training as well as curriculum delivery training. Several teaching mini-cases more specific to geographic and cultural needs will also be developed for use in the certificate program
Launched in 2008, Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Women initiative is a five-year campaign to foster greater shared economic growth by providing 10,000 underserved women around the world with a business and management education. The program is founded on research conducted by Goldman Sachs, the World Bank, and others which suggests this kind of investment can have a significant impact on GDP growth. Research also suggests that such an investment in women can have a significant multiplier effect that leads not only to increased revenues and more employees for businesses, but also healthier, better-educated families, and ultimately more prosperous communities. It is widely accepted that increased access to education and greater participation in the economic sector are critical tools for helping women climb out of poverty.
10,000 Women supports partnerships with universities and development organizations to achieve its aims, and was approached by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Thunderbird School of Global Management to join a broad effort to support female entrepreneurs in Peru. Peru faces particularly high levels of poverty and inequality. While the country had a growth rate of 9.8 % in 2008, nearly 40% of the women in the country are classified as poor. And due to the financial crisis, only a 4% economic growth is expected for Peru in 2009, which will have a substantial impact on the number of women able to emerge from poverty. Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) play an important role in the overall economic development in Peru, and approximately 43% of the country's MSEs are owned by women. In general, MSEs represent 98 % of all existing companies, contribute 47% of the GDP and provide jobs to 60% of the Economically Active Population. Despite this, perceived risk has limited access to commercial loans and even in 2008, 74% of the micro businesses in the Peruvian economy did not have access to credit.
Limited access to credit, along with traditional cultural bias, is one of the key challenges facing female entrepreneurs in Peru, but perhaps the greatest barrier to success is a fundamental lack of business training -- especially in rural areas where the educational level is lower than in urban areas. To address this issue, Mibanco conducted research in 2005 on the needs and characteristics of training for micro and small entrepreneurs in Lima. It concluded that the training needs of micro entrepreneurs were basic skills such as: how to manage money, costs and profits, distribution of products, and access to finance, but that entrepreneurs of small businesses required more sophisticated skills training in areas such as sales, marketing, and administration and finance.
Currently, some training is provided to clients on basic business skills; however, there is not enough capacity to offer the growing number of small to medium enterprise clients specialized training, nor have they previously had access to leading providers of business education. As well, no institution is providing training for the specific needs of women entrepreneurs. According to the 2007 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, a gender gap is present with respect to new venture survival rates and the likelihood of business survival beyond 42 months is lower for women than for men, which illustrates the problems women face in taking their ventures forward.
This partnership will seek to address the specific needs of female entrepreneurs and provide the comprehensive support, training, and resources that will enable them to grow their businesses.