UNCTAD Book Release: 21 stories of women leading successful enterprises amidst crisis


The third half of entrepreneurs in this world are women and their contribution to the development of humanity, as a whole is, quite evident. They do not just inspire communities and fellow womenfolk, they also create jobs and raise chances for a better, more inclusive future.

The collection of stories presented here is symbolic of the power and creativity of women entrepreneurs. It determines their strength. It shows how entrepreneurship is becoming more inclusive, equal, representative, and sustainable because of women in business.

UNCTAD on November 21st, 2022, launched a publication titled “Women in Business, building purpose-driven enterprises amid crises.” It tells the stories of 21 women from developing countries who had to confront myriad challenges to build successful businesses. They have been trained through UNCTAD’s flagship capacity-building program, Empretec.

In a statement, Secretary-General of UNCTAD Rebeca Grynspan said, “It is my hope that the stories of these 21 ‘Empretec champions’ and the ingenuity and resilience they display amid crises are a source of inspiration for the other women and girls looking for role models and hope in these turbulent times”.

According to the reports, from the developing countries, since 1988, Empretec has trained more than half a million entrepreneurs. Globally the program has 41 national business centers and 40 international master trainers and as well 600 local certified trainers.

For achieving this position these women had to face some serious societal challenges and gender stereotyping. By overcoming these gender stereotypes, they have built their success. “If you want to change the world, you have to change yourself first,” said Uneiza Ali Issufo, who founded CosMoz, a dynamic construction company in Mozambique, overcoming gender stereotypes as she broke into a male-dominated industry. Support from family hugely matters as women entrepreneurs launch and sustain enterprises. Joyce Kyalema from Uganda dedicated her success to her father who provided her with a quality education.  She has built a pumpkin business named JOSMAK International from the ground up, helping rural women feed their families and boost income.

Holding up to social responsibilities: These women entrepreneurs also held the different communities close to them, while expanding their businesses. The founder of Ouseuse,’ Rosana Marques’, a lingerie company based in the Brazilian town of Juruaia, wanted to build a business that serves the community and creates job opportunities. The Indian biochemist Kayan Motashaw ventured into the agrifood business because she cared deeply about food security.

The need for more women entrepreneurs:   UNCTAD’s previous estimates present that between 2010 and 2019, 68% of firms worldwide didn’t have any women ownership, while only 16% were owned by women. Despite some powerful efforts and progress in the outlook of society, women’s participation in business remains limited. The report also shows that such underrepresentation could undercut economic growth. The scope for employment and income loss due to women’s non-participation in business can reach up to 30% of GDP in countries with wide gender gaps.

There is also a moral need to showcase such success stories of women achievers so as to motivate and inspire other meritorious women into taking up leadership roles.

It is a matter of pride for Team SheSight and Prayaana Labs to participate in this prestigious project for generating the content for this publication.


Staff Reporter

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Fly High Women: Feminism, Innovation, and Inspiration in Action And how you too can fly high! Buy One, Gift One
Fly High Women: Feminism, Innovation, and Inspiration in Action And how you too can fly high! Buy One, Gift One