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Thanks in large part to the strength of the Web and more than a decade of building partnerships with organizations all over the world, I am proud to report that in 2013, Enterprising Women now reaches nearly a million women entrepreneurs in 185 countries around the globe.
In February 2013, we launched a new monthly e-zine that is available at no cost to readers who subscribe (simply by completing a short subscription form) on our website at www.enterprisingwomen.com. We’re getting a few issues of the e-zine under our belt, but the next step is to produce the e-zine in Spanish, followed by a French edition, and then a Mandarin version. We want to make it easier for readers around the world to benefit from the information we are providing.
Why is it so important to us to continue growing our global readership?
First, we know there are women entrepreneurs all over the world doing amazing things that our readers everywhere should know about. And second, we have long believed as a U.S.-based publication that women business owners in the United States have many advantages that women in some parts of the world have not had, and we feel strongly that U.S. women have an obligation to share best practices with women who can benefit from that knowledge. It’s a two-way street.
If you don’t already think of the global marketplace when you think of potential customers, think again. As Barbara Kasoff notes in her article on page 48 this issue, only 20,000 women entrepreneurs export their products, but those who do export have used it to grow substantially larger businesses. More women need to look at opportunities for exporting and not be afraid to venture into new territory.
And speaking of being brave and fearless, consider Lori Blaker. We introduced her to the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s (IEEW) PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program through a video shown in 2008 when she was a recipient of the Enterprising Women of the Year Award. Since that time, she has traveled to Afghanistan several times and is developing a workforce development program for that country with her company, TTi Global. Lori is a member of the Enterprising Women Advisory Board, and we are immensely proud of her and all that she has accomplished. (Read her story on page 30 of this issue.)
We are all inspired by the journey of our Rwandan and Afghan friends we have met through the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program, and I am proud to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. Each year, we select one Afghan and one Rwandan woman to honor with the Enterprising Women of the Year Award. We share their stories in this issue (page 40) as part of our coverage of this amazing program, and we are delighted to have three Rwandan PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® graduates on our front cover.
We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to share global perspectives on women’s entrepreneurship, and we hope our readers everywhere feel a strong connection with women all over the world. We are all part of a strong global community of women entrepreneurs.