Tory Burch has been in the business world for merely a decade but has managed to amass an enviable amount of success in her 10 years as a designer. During her time at the helm of her eponymous company, she’s come to realize the importance of female entrepreneurs and is one of many to lament their small numbers and somewhat limited success.
In order to shine some light on the topic, Burch wrote an op-ed in The Economist called, “Why the world needs women entrepreneurs,” whose mission was to drive home the point that “women are crucial to economic growth around the world.” She named a number of alarming statistics to help illustrate her point.
While there are 126 million women operating new businesses and another 98 million heading up established businesses, only seven countries–Panama, Thailand, Ghana, Ecuador, Nigeria, Mexico, and Uganda–have women taking part in business at an equal rate to men. As you can see the United States didn’t make the cut; while U.S. women own one in three American businesses, they only employ 6 percent of the workforce and account for only 4 percent of the revenue. There are clearly huge gaps between female and male success in the business world.
To address these differences, Burch sees three priorities for worldwide concentration: access to capital–microfinance is a good solution; support for nascent businesses–women need mentors and advisers; and entrepreneurial education to give women more confidence. By working to improve the entrepreneurial conditions for women we can ensure their future success. And since studies show that in emerging markets women reinvest 90 percent of what they earn back into their families and communities “investing in women is an investment in our collective future.”
For this information and more, head over to The Economist for Tory Burch’s article and check out her foundation, The Tory Burch Foundation, to see the work she’s done to promote the economic empowerment of female entrepreneurs through microfinance.