Saluting women entrepreneurs
Like her or hate her, but you just can't ignore her. Trump bashing may have become fashionable these days, but Ivanka, the eldest daughter of US president Donald Trump, has excellent oratorical skills. In her inimitable style, the 36-year-old advisor to US President Donald Trump, made a spirited pitch for access to capital and equal laws for women entrepreneurs, stressing on closing the gender entrepreneurship gap as that could augment global GDP by up to 2 per cent. She also lavished praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her keynote address at the Eighth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), describing his achievement as "truly extraordinary". She also said that despite the soaring rate of female entrepreneurs, women still faced impediments to starting, owning, and growing their businesses. "Fuelling the growth of women-led businesses isn't simply good for our society -- it's good for our economy. One study estimates that closing the gender entrepreneurship gap worldwide could grow our global GDP by as much as 2 percent," she added. The multi-faceted Ivanka who wears many hats—a businesswoman, fashion designer, was invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the White House in June to speak at the Summit. She is leading the US contingent at the Summit themed 'Women First, Prosperity for All'. She opened her speech by stressing how all over the world entrepreneurs are "revolutionising our economies, and improving our societies". Women, according to Ivanka, can help lead the way in closing this gap and ushering in a new age of greater prosperity. "We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors, and access to equitable laws," she added. In her speech at the GES, Ivanka highlighted what the US is doing to reverse the trend. She said the US Small Business Administration was increasing its lending to women by over 500 million dollars. The US administration is fostering mentorship through programs such as SCORE – a nation-wide initiative where successful men and women coach those who want to become their own CEOs. At the G20 conference, the United States was a founding member of a bold, new initiative with the World Bank's Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative or WeFi. This facility provides access to capital, networks, and mentorship for women in developing countries. The US has dramatically reduced job-crushing regulations which disproportionately hurt entrepreneurs and small business owners. "And we are laser-focused on passing long overdue tax cuts. This will provide the much-needed relief to working families and businesses of all sizes," she said, adding that this year, the President's Budget included a proposal to establish a nation-wide program for paid family leave. In the last decade, the USAID has promoted women entrepreneurship through some programmes, including providing micro-finance loans to women in Afghanistan and bringing Internet access to women in Nigeria and Kenya. It is time for India to take a cue and bring our women out of the veils into the domain of creativity and excellence.