10,000 Women by Goldman Sachs
10,000 Women is a five-year initiative undertaken by Goldman Sachs. It is a five-year investment to provide women entrepreneurs in the emerging markets with a management education. It operates through a network of more than 80 academic and nonprofit institutions. Research conducted by Goldman-Sachs over several years has illustrated that investing in women education has a significant multiplier effect, leading to more productive workers, healthier and better-educated families, and ultimately to more prosperous communities.
The women selected for the program enroll in customized certificate programs, ranging from five weeks to six months. Topics that are covered include marketing, accounting, writing business plans and accessing capital. Students are offered mentoring and post-graduate guidance by partner institutions, local businesses and the team of Goldman Sachs. They not only provide funding but also contribute their time as mentors, selection-committee participants and guests lecturers in the classrooms of global academic partners. The campaign works in 43 countries including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, India and Rwanda.
There has been a high rate of enthusiastic students around the world. Admission rates for students have been comparable to the world’s most selective MBA programs. The academic partners include Harvard Business School, University of Oxford and Indian School of Business amongst others. Other partners include Ashoka, TechnoServe, Vital Voices, Women for Women International, and the International Centre for Research on Women. Launched in March 2008, this program is built on the premise that partnerships between public, private and non-profit sectors can help bring about considerable change through improved business education for women.
The International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) has recently published an independent report on the ‘10,000 Women’ initiative. In India, the Indian School of Business (ISB) implements the program in several major cities. Working with classes of 30 women in each cohort, the program includes 150 hours of training in entrepreneurship and business management. ISB faculty members present lectures and engage the women entrepreneurs in analyzing local case studies, as well as in panel discussions. ICRW’s has come up with specific findings, some of which are as follows :
a. The 10,000 Women program is filling an existing gap in the provision of business services to small and medium enterprises run by women.
b. Half of the graduates who reported data saw the revenues at least double in an 18-month period. They also reported that during the same period, the median number of employees in their businesses increased from 6 to 10.
c. Nearly 100% of graduates interviewed expressed that ‘10,000 Women’ had strengthened their business skills and helped improve performance.
d. A number of graduates described how the ’10,000 Women’ program gave them increased confidence to engage in male-dominated sectors and expand their businesses.
e. ’10,000 Women’ alumni have formed personal and professional networks; some use social media tools like Facebook to help, advise and encourage each other in their efforts to succeed in business.
Be it Divya, the owner of Krishna Printernational, a firm engaged in manufacturing self adhesive labels for the Pharmaceutical, Airline and Consumer Durables industries or Sandhya, whose company, Wonders, offers turnkey and consultation interior and exterior design solutions for residences and commercial spaces, they and quite a few women in India have had the chance to better their finance practices, negotiation skills, marketing concepts and such business tactics with this program.
’10,000 Women’ plays a substantial role in delivering business education to women at the SME (Small and Medium Enterprises Sector) level in India, specifically in New Delhi and Hyderabad. Thus, although it has been operational for a relatively short period of time, it has already yielded high returns and instilled a belief in the potential of women entrepreneurship. It has been instrumental in the process of their growth and success in business. With its aid, women are growing businesses, creating, new jobs, supporting their families, investing in their communities, and transforming their countries, and thus changing the world for the better.