The most amazing statistic from the 2012 Dell Women’s Global Entrepreneurship Study is that in India, women entrepreneurs expect a median growth of their business by 90% over the next five years! By Ingrid Vanderveldt (Entrepreneur in Residence, Dell)
Since embarking on my journey to find, promote and distribute sustainable solutions to empower a billion women by 2020, I have never been alone. At every turn, there has been an overwhelming abundance of brilliant minds who are passionately dedicating their professions and lives towards the advancement of women.
Three years ago, the first Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) event in China, changed the course of my life. This was more than just a conference for women, but an event that spotlights female entrepreneurial success and creates an atmosphere where women can connect with one another, share best practices, build business opportunities and recognize female influence in business and technology around the world.
It was at that first event that I recognized a great opportunity to get involved with Dell’s effort to empower women, and since then I have had one amazing experience after another as part of DWEN, the Women Powering Business initiative and as Dell’s first Entrepreneur in Residence.
After holding successful events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2011, and the inaugural DWEN conference in Shanghai in June 2010, this year’s DWEN event in New Delhi, India brought together nearly 150 women entrepreneurs from 12 countries.
While known as one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India has a lesser known statistic regarding its strong influence of women entrepreneurs and business owners.
According to the 2012 Dell Women’s Global Entrepreneurship Study:
- 71% of female entrepreneurs in India say their business is very successful, with 8 in 10 female entrepreneurs saying they are hiring.
- 74% of female entrepreneurs in India say their technology needs are getting more complex.
- 90% of female entrepreneurs in India started their business while maintaining their day job.
- 85% of female entrepreneurs in India believe it is very important that their business has a positive social impact.
The most amazing statistic is that in India, women entrepreneurs expect a median growth of their business by 90% over the next five years! My enthusiasm for the future of Indian women entrepreneurs and their families is just as great as my excitement over possibilities manifesting for Dell to become a committed partner and integral support resource.
While at DWEN, I met and heard stories of so many women that are successfully stepping out into the open with optimism and a hunger for stewarding their own destiny through small business ownership and entrepreneurship:
- Lauren Flanagan, Executive Chairman of Current Motor is always inspiring and I consider myself lucky to also call her a friend. She was the gracious host of our late night after parties this year where the real business happens (not to be missed!) and where our women make contacts and friends for life. Like her late night soirees, Lauren’s business style is open, giving, innovative and authentic. I must have heard her offer to give advice and make connections to more than 20 women. I was also so thrilled to hear her credit so much of her current success with Current Motor to the Dell Innovators Credit Fund - a first-of-its-kind Dell financing initiative that provides entrepreneurs up to $100M in the financial and scalable technology resources they need to maximize potential for innovation, speed to market and job creation. [Video]: Lauren Flanagan at DWEN
- Kiran Bedy, Ph.D, non-profit transformer, entrepreneur, TV host, and India's first and highest ranking woman police officer, just inspired me tremendously. DWEN India was the first time I got to meet and talk with Kiran. She is beautiful, inspiring and tough as nails – in a way, a perfect example of so many of the women who attend DWEN. She has over 400K followers on Twitter and after seeing her on stage, I can see why. Not only does she create a wave of enthusiasm and hope around her (the audience was cheering her on!), but she actively tweeted away during her presentation to make sure those followers continued to feel connected. Watching her in action was like getting a degree in manifesting any idea into reality: Do whatever it takes to make it happen. [Video]: Kiran Bedy
- Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children, is the embodiment of why we do what we do as entrepreneurs - to be in service to others and to the world. Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change in the lives of children in need in the United States and around the world. Carolyn and I had the chance to spend one-on-one time riding from the bus at the New Delhi airport to our hotel and we connected immediately around our desire to make a lasting impact in the world. She is focused on helping over 70 million children in over 120 countries. I was humbled by her outlook and commitment to serving these kids, dedicating her life’s work in such an ambitious way. Carolyn’s presence at DWEN was a constant reminder of the things that are truly important in life. [Video]: Carolyn Miles
Being among these women and the entire DWEN network is always a privilege and an inspiration, making me so proud to be a part of an organization that supports women - helping us to continue expanding our circle of influence, grow our businesses and make an impact beyond our dreams.
Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Ingrid Vanderveldt is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell. She is also CEO of Green Girl Energy, Founding Organizer of the GLASS Forum (Global Leadership & Sustainable Success), seasoned entrepreneur, business television personality and advocate for WOMEN + GREEN sustainability initiatives. Ingrid created and oversees the $100M Dell Innovators Credit Fund. Follow her on Twitter at @ontheroadwithiv.