The world is on the cusp of the ‘Next Billion Era’ – a unique point in history when a billion people will gain access to better education, healthcare and technology, thus allowing them to fully participate in the global economy for the first time. The Next Billion Era will be ripe with opportunity and powered by the world’s top source of innovation and job creation: entrepreneurs. We know that entrepreneurs will play a crucial role in the Next Billion Era because, today, entrepreneurs create 70 percent of all new jobs in the world, and up to 90 percent of new jobs in some emerging economies.
Unfortunately, under representation of women in business today creates missed opportunities—not just from a social standpoint but from an economic angle as well. Women control $20 trillion in annual spending and reinvest 90 percent of their income back into their communities. To truly drive progress, everyone must be able to participate in the Next Billion Era, an era where the potential for growth is almost unbounded. The time is now for women entrepreneurs to tap into the abundant business opportunities available to entrepreneurs today. As a significant part of the entrepreneurial community, women have the power to grow businesses, create jobs and develop sustainable, scalable solutions that will change the world.
Infrastructure, technology and education are currently creating a steep divide between those who can succeed in today’s economy and those who cannot. Entrepreneurs, organizations and nations that have plentiful resources are able to move forward to become more connected, informed and secure because they can leverage technology to its fullest potential. However, those without access to infrastructure, education, technology, and a secure environment continue to fall farther and farther behind. Imagine what is possible if we removed the barriers that prevent entrepreneurs from turning their ideas into thriving businesses? People around the globe could benefit from more jobs, better careers, and breakthrough innovations that change the world.
Women-owned businesses have the ability to create significant global impact, but to achieve success they need to be able to scale. In the US, at least, women struggle with scaling and typically get ‘stuck’ at the $1 million revenue mark. Part of the problem is the “future readiness” of their local economy. The recent 2015 Strategic Innovation Summit (sponsored by Dell and held at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard) brought city leaders together to examine issues and constraints that limit a city’s economy from being future-ready. City leaders agreed that entrepreneurs have a paramount role in fostering innovative local economies. To enable and attract top entrepreneurs, cities need to improve conditions for women entrepreneurs so they can build larger, more enduring businesses. To move this vision forward, we are proud to announce the 2016 Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) Research Symposium, an educational and empowering event to be held April 5th at the Harvard Club of New York City.
Key learnings from the Symposium will inform unique global research aimed at raising awareness of the importance of women entrepreneurs in creating future-ready cities. The Symposium will also inform global policy decisions that support women entrepreneurs and their local economies.
This invite-only Symposium will bring together today’s leading women entrepreneurs, experts, thought leaders, and policy makers to explore how we can better help women create scalable, enduring businesses in future-ready economies. Applications will be reviewed and attendees will be accepted on a case-by-case basis. This event is complimentary and there is no tuition fee to attend; however, travel and hotel expenses are the responsibility of individual participants. Attendance is limited, so we encourage you to apply soon.