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Is female entrepreneurship the key to peace?

Eight million U.S. businesses are currently women-owned, and these firms have an economic impact of $3 trillion in annual revenues.
by Terry Neese Modified: May 20, 2014 at 2:03 pm •  Published: May 20, 2014
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photo - Saffron farmers in Afghanistan. Photo by Maryam Massih
Saffron farmers in Afghanistan. Photo by Maryam Massih

Eight million U.S. businesses are currently women-owned, and these firms have an economic impact of $3 trillion in annual revenues. They also have about 23 million employees (or voters), which is 16 percent of all U.S. jobs, according to the Center for Women’s Business Research.

Women in the U.S. are also starting companies 2-3x faster than their male counterparts.

But, why is this important data?

It is widely acknowledged that societies who are economically stable have a much greater capacity for peace. The case for such a bold statement can be found through evidence in the relationship between democracies and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

 

  • Democracies are generally stable above $6,000 GDP per capita
  • Democracies are generally vulnerable to coups and civil wars between $3,000 and $6,000 GDP per capita
  • Democracies are likely to fail below $3,000 GDP per capita

 

Rwanda’s GDP per capita is $620 and Afghanistan’s GDP per capita is $687, which puts them both well below the $3,000 level where democracies are likely to fail.

That is why The Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Program is so important. It helps provide women with a voice in their fight to establish peace and free market opportunities. Women are 50 percent of the world’s population, which gives us the ability to make major changes in the world’s economy.

In our eighth year, more than 400 women have graduated from the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® Program. Additional data also shows that 80 percent of the graduates are still in business today, compared to a U.S. 57 percent failure rate in small business startups within the first five years.

Successful business statistics and impressive personal stories show women graduating from the program and getting involved in public policy, too.

Rwanda has the notable position of being No. 1 in the world for women in government with 63.8 percent of the lower house of parliament represented by women and 38.5 percent in the Senate.


by Terry Neese
NewsOK Contributor
Terry Neese is the founder and CEO of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women (IEEW). She leads the organization to accomplish its mission both domestically and internationally through training programs for women business owners in the...
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