GENE SPERLING: Thank you very much for joining us today at the Washington Club. I'm Gene Sperling, director of the Center for Universal Education at the Council on Foreign Relations. And, obviously, you know we're here for a discussion on "Lessons in Shared Growth: Business and Entrepreneurship Education for Women in Developing Countries." Let me say a few opening words and then introduce our panel.
I think about 15 years ago there was a breakthrough. As people started recognizing the importance of addressing extreme poverty, people started coming up with a rather similar answer to the question, "What might be the most important social intervention you could do for global poverty reduction?"
And that answer, for many people, was girl's education. And it was girl's education because people recognized that, beyond what economists understood, in terms of wage growth and income growth, that educating girls meant educated women, which meant lower infant mortality, lower maternal mortality, stronger health across the board, stronger democracy.
I think 15 years later that question and that challenge is still here, but there is very much a new challenge -- or I shouldn't say a new challenge, but a challenge that has reached a more profound level of discussion around the world. And that is not simply, 'will there be economic growth around the world,' or economic growth in particular countries, but how will we grow? How will individual countries grow?
And I think if you looked at a common theme in the political and economic discussion, from the United States, to Africa, to Latin America, to China, it would be about how countries are growing, whether or not -- even when there is growth and poverty reduction, whether that growth is inherently one that increases economic inequality and where a significant amount of the benefits go to too few of its citizens.
And so the question is raised, which goes to our title, what can be done to ensure greater shared prosperity and shared growth around the world? And, again, I think when people are asking this question -- the reason why we're having this panel, and I think the reason so many people showed up here, is that a lot of people are again looking to female education. But not just the primary and secondary education, but they're looking towards what is needed to have a stronger, managerial, executive, entrepreneurial small and medium enterprise class in economies.
I think many people feel South Korea had more shared growth because they had a stronger entrepreneurial class that could benefit and share that growth. But beyond that entrepreneurial class, I don't have to tell this expert group that study after study shows that when women are part of growth, that they share the benefits even more within their families and their communities. And so I do think that, as people are asking the question: "How do countries grow?" "How is there more shared prosperity?" The answer of educating more women to help be part of growth and shared prosperity is extremely important.
Now, our session even has a more defined focus as well because, to be honest, I've been to many of the discussions where people talked about, "What do we do at the level above microfinance?," "What do we do on the financing side?," et cetera. But too often when people ask that important question, they do ask it a little bit more on the financing side alone, instead of asking, what is the education that is needed? And I think it's -- you know, I think that this leads to some very hard questions and some hard issues. For those of us who work on basic education, we know how few girls graduate from what we would think of as middle school, no less high school.
So, you can't just have a strategy that's widespread, that says we're going to reach MBAs. You have to figure out how, in the existing environment, can you have that type of education? How can you have education that allows people to go to the next level, but reaches a broad amount of women right now? How do you do the networking, the mentoring?
I do want to pay a little tribute -- there's so many people in this audience that have worked on this, but I think on this question, one of our audience members -- Guy Pfeffermann, through his work at the IFC and with his team, Nora Brown (sp) and Lisa McDougall (sp), has really helped chart a field for a lot of us to work on and develop further.
Lastly, what I'd just like to say is that, you know, we're the Center for Universal Education, and there's no question that most of the things we do here are on basic education. And I think one of the challenges we constantly have in Development is that you want to focus on very specific results and hold people accountable; and yet, on the other hand, you don't want that to keep you from losing the bigger picture and the interconnections.
So, many people look at Millennium Development Goals and say they are a great thing because they pick out some key areas and they hold the global community accountable. Other people say, no, it distorts our view because then you only focus on that one area and you don't see the interconnections. And I think -- you know, for me, I think both of those are true, and our challenge is to keep that focus on things like universal primary completion, but to do so in a context where we see the other needs and the other interconnections.
And I think what's become more and more clear -- and I think this is true at the microfinance level and the primary education level, is that there is a pull and a push side. When you have microfinance, when you have universal primary education for girls, you create a push up -- more girls want to go to secondary school; more girls want to do something with their lives.
But you also recognize -- and you hear this repeatedly from people in the field, that there is a pull side as well, that many parents don't want to send their kids to primary education unless they think they can go to the next level. Many women don't -- parents don't want their kids to go to the next level unless they think there's economic opportunity above. So, I think -- to me, this is not a deviation or diversion from the universal basic education, it is part of the push and pull that is needed for both poverty reduction and shared prosperity.
My last comment is just that one of the reasons I've always loved working in education was I've always felt -- and I know some of you heard me say this before, that one of the risks you have in development is that the appeals can often be, 'look at this incredibly poor, wretched child; can we help this child get through life for another day?'
And you never look at that in education, because in education you see children and you see their potential. You go to the poorest parts of the world -- the poorest rural parts of Ethiopia, and ask a first grade class, what do you want to be when you grow up? And most of the girls there will say they want to be doctors, or teachers, or they want to -- or they want to, you know, run a shop or something. What happens in between then?
When you see that, people see these are children, like us, with their own potential. I think, in this area, you see that to even a greater degree. When you see that potential, you do not objectify people or see them as victims, you see that those little children there can do amazing things. And you see this particularly in the issue of business education for women.
With that, I want to introduce our panel. You know, you always try to get the exact -- right mix in a panel. And I suppose if we had an extra chair here, it might have been nice to have found somebody we could have flown in from a developing country. But I think, for the mix we want, we really have, I feel, the leading person managing the leading corporate effort in this area. One of leading women who's founded and runs NGOs, and I think a woman who is the most -- having the greatest impact at the World Bank right now on the issue of gender and the private sector.
So, I am very, very pleased to have this particular panel. And pleased that so many of you thought this was so important. So, in the order that they will speak -- and I first want to introduce Dina Habib Powell, who is the director of the Office for Global Corporate Engagement at Goldman Sachs. Dina is well-known to many of you because she -- before doing this, played a very prominent role in a number of uses of education and cultural exchanges, as a matter of diplomacy, for our country, both as assistant secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs, and deputy under secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
Your card -- I know those cards here -- (laughter) -- really get full with all that. She is on the board of a number of things, but of course the most important of which is that she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Dina was born in Cairo to Egyptian parents, and we're -- together with Governor Granholm and Governor Schwarzenegger, trying to change our Constitution so that Dina can be president of the United States.
And the reason Dina is here and that she will talk about -- I'll mention only briefly, is that she is managing and leading Goldman Sachs' "10,000 Women" effort to educate 10,000 women, and develop business education in developing countries, with $100 million cash commitment, which is, you know, certainly, I think, the highest impact corporate effort in this area.
Our next panelist is Amanda Ellis. Now, when Amanda speaks you're all going to wonder -- Australia? New Zealand? New Zealand? Australia? So, I have to tell you that, in her prior life, before she joined the World Bank, she was head of Women's Markets and national manager for Women in Business at Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia. Aha! But, she was also previously worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 10 years. So, if you're having a hard time, you know, detecting which she's from, there's a reason for that.
But Amanda is currently the lead specialist for Gender and Development for the World Bank Group, and really now, you know, spearheads the new global research on exactly this issue of women in business and private sector development. Before that, she was at the IFC, which has definitely played a tremendous leadership role running the gender program at the IFC -- assisting clients in developing countries, providing credit lines for women in small and medium enterprises. And I should also note that she is a best-selling Random House author, "Women's Business, Women's Wealth," 2002; and "Women to Women," in 2004. And she will be doing a book signing -- no, not actually -- (laughter) -- She could have been.
Linda Rottenberg, many of you know, is the C.E.O. and co-founder of Endeavor. And that is not the Endeavor that is portrayed on "Entourage," -- (laughter) -- but one that does much more important work. I don't think there's any question that Endeavor is regarded -- anywhere, as the top, to one of the top, three NGOs in the world, I think, that focuses on helping high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Since '97 she's pioneered this model. She gave -- advised over 370 promising entrepreneurs around the world.
She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She's also won so many of these damned "100 Top" this, and "100 Top," that -- (laughter) -- that I'm going to instruct our staff next time that we're only going to note the ones she didn't get. (Laughter.)
And you can assume -- but, just a couple: She was one of the "100 Innovators in the 21st Century" for some place called Time Magazine; one of the "100 Bold Innovators" from MIT Technology Review; one of the "Top 40 Social Entrepreneurs" by Schwab and in the World Economic Forum. So, if you could just help me get one of those, Linda, I would be so appreciative.
So, with that, I want to just do a little of the ground rules and then we will start. The first thing I wanted to just let you know, in the interest of transparency and disclosure, is that I have, for the last two years, done some consulting for Goldman Sachs; and have worked with Dina, and her great deputy, Noah Myers (sp), here, as well as John Rogers and Russell Horowitz, somewhere back in the office, in developing this great initiative.
I would hope most of you would think that that made me somewhat qualified to moderate this panel, or at least would be an example that Republicans and Democrats can actually work on something positive. But, for those of you who doubt that, I encourage you to grill Dina from the floor. She's tough, and can take tough questions, if you think I'm being too soft.
I will say that when we go to the Q & A, even though too many people showed up to actually do a roundtable, we still think this is a roundtable. And what that means is we want you to make your interventions short and reasonable, but you don't have to just ask a question. This is an expert crowd, and you have good points to make, and you don't have to try to figure out how to put in a question. So, when we go to the discussion, we want to hear questions, but we also, if people have important points they want to make, we want you to feel free to make them.
So, with that, I am going to turn it over and let Dina Powell start off.
DINA HABIB POWELL: Great. Thank you very much, Gene. Gene is right, we have had the great privilege of working together now for the last several months. In fact, I think poor Gene now has a trick he uses where he sees our number coming up from Goldman Sachs and he, I think, sometimes doesn't pick up the phone. (Laughs.) Although, we figured out another trick which we now have it show up as "private," because then he -- the thinks, oh, well, it could be someone, you know, very important calling me -- that will go unnamed.
You know, we obviously do work closely together, but I want to say that part of the reason it has been so critical to work with Gene is because of his role as the chairman of the Center for Universal Education at the Council -- which, through its research and its initiatives and its, even, forums like this, I really do think has become a platform that is showing, as much as part think-tank and very much action-tank, how what an opportunity there is to make sure that every girl around the world is educated, if we really do care about a more peaceful and prosperous future. So, he never likes to take too much credit, so I really wanted to start with that.
I also did want to say that we are very much indebted to Guy Pfeffermann and Lisa McDougall. You know, they, for many, many years, worked at the IFC when this issue was not at the top of mind, and when this whole idea of every level of education for girls and women around the world -- and men too, I should say, was so vital, and yet not as many people were investing in it. Guy and his team kept up that fight. And one of the major pillars of 10,000 Women really developed because of the great work that Gene and Guy had done, and, frankly, that they had done in bringing academic institutions to the table. So, thank you so much.
I also just want to say that Nowa Meyer (sp) is here, and she is the programmatic manager of 10,000 Women, and I just thought she'd raise her hand in case you all have specific questions afterwards. And we're really excited that Lawrence Meyer (sp), her father, has joined us too. So, thank you, Mr. Meyer (sp), for being here. So, it is fun for me to be back in Washington and to see so many of my friends and colleagues, and people who I actually had the privilege of working on these kinds of issues with -- whether it's, I think I saw Diana Negroponte, who never lets us forget how important women all are all around the world.
But, you can imagine my great delight in joining Goldman Sachs a year ago and hearing that they, in fact, had already been interested in an initiative around women's education. And when I really began to enquire, in my first few months, why they had focused on this -- they did mention this whole, this guy named Gene, and Center for Universal Education, but they also had something very organic happen at Goldman Sachs, which is that the research arm of the firm had developed, in a very short period of time, two significant pieces of research. One was called "WOMENomics," which was written by our senior strategist out of Asia, Kathy Matsui, which took a look at the impact of greater labor force participation by women in the, on the Japanese economy, and given the size of Japanese -- the Japanese economy, the effect that could have on global GDP growth.
Simultaneously, and unrelated, there was a piece of research developed called "Women Hold Up Half the Sky" -- not your typical Goldman Sachs survey, I must tell you. And this really -- people really paid attention. And it, sort of, applied this theory, "WOMENonics," greater labor force participation of women in the developing world -- excuse me, in that case in Japan, it was the developed world, but they took that and applied it to what's called "the BRICs and the Next Eleven," the emerging markets.
And there there was a really dramatic impact, of course, because we all know that the percentages of women starting new businesses, being managers, leaders, being, basically, engaged in the global economy -- especially in the emerging and developing world, is so limited. And so when they modeled it and they showed the greater labor force participation by women would not only make those economies stronger, but that it would also have remarkable social impact.
And so what was really about these two pieces coming out is they made their way to our chairman's office. And he, Lloyd Blankfein and our, and our chief of staff, John Rogers, began to look at how interesting it was that there was, in fact -- this was a new investment opportunity, or an investment vehicle. And when they looked at, well, what is impeding women from joining the labor force -- because if you're Goldman Sachs, you're looking for new markets, you're looking for new clients, and you certainly have a long-term view.
Last year, for the first time, revenues of the firm exceeded -- revenues abroad exceeded domestic revenue, so 53 percent of revenues for Goldman Sachs were actually made around the world. And so then you begin to look at growth opportunities, right -- you're an investment bank, you're looking to grow. And you find this data that shows, well, one element to growing economies is more participation by women. And when they looked at, well, what's impeding that participation, it really was education.
And so they then began to think about an initiative that really was, 1) that you could talk about in a business framework -- you could say, this is a smart investment, and yet you would have a multiplier effect because the social impact has been well now accounted for, whether it's the U.N., or the World Bank, or the Would Economic Forum, the Center for Universal Education. We see, and we all know the numbers of, you know, the basic of an educated woman is an educated mother; the health and education benefits the family receives; and then the village has a leader, an economically empowered woman.
And so when they married these two opportunities together they realized that this could well be a business opportunity and one that defined our corporate engagement strategy globally -- kind of, our answer to, what could Goldman Sachs be engaged in that, on the one hand we could say to shareholders very easily, this is a strategic business opportunity; and on the other hand would make the kind of social impact the firm has long been known for in this whole sense of public service.
And so we began to look at partners, and how could we actually, you know, implement a program. And 10,000 Women really is a three, kind of, pillared program. The first was, in talking to Guy and Gene we began to see that there is such a dearth of management education around the world. And even the capacity for management education, and a quality management education doesn't exist. And what I mean by that is, if you look at the continent of Africa, with its 900 million people, and you would -- let's say we just wanted to give M.B.A. scholarships to deserving women. The scholarships and the -- the slots really didn't exist.
So, in a continent of 900 million people, there were 2,600 -- Guy will correct me if I have this wrong, quality slots available for women on the whole continent, which is pretty remarkable. And so we realized right away that even if we just wanted to write scholarships -- you know, give out scholarships, the slots and the quality didn't exist. So we knew that intellectual infrastructure was going to be a major piece of our investment.
The second pillar was the certificates themselves. And we have some folders downstairs that really lay out what this means. But the World Bank had made a very small investment in a pilot in Lagos, Nigeria, which was a four-month management training program. And, of course, in this case it was for men and women. And these small business owners would come on the weekends and they would really get the basics of management training -- how do you write a business plan; how do you market that business plan; how do you get access to capital; and, how do you do all this without, you know, taking two years away, spending $60,000-plus dollars, and, no offense to Rob Nichols, the president of the Financial Services Forum who's here, but derivatives training is maybe not the most important thing you need if you're just trying to grow your business.
And so this program was a model that we thought we could actually replicate globally. And, of course, the way we could seek to do that is with our academic institutions, which I'll talk about briefly. So, pillar 2 was this notion that these 10,000 scholarships were going to be meaningful. They were actually going to be short-term, high-quality programs that tried to create a class of entrepreneurs -- be they business entrepreneurs, or managers of non-profits, or even, eventually we hope, you know, we'll have public policy impact through being, you know, in ministries. So we looked at this important opportunity, which is, how do you really meet people where they are in the developing world in which we're working, and yet have a high impact?
And finally, of course, the mentoring and networking. You know, I see the head of the Women's Forum here -- Aude, and her team, who, of course, put on the infamous conference in Deauville, and for many years now have really been highlighting the fact that women around the world have got to be more networked together if we're really going to make a difference. And I love that Gene Sperling had mentoring and networking just rolling off his tongue, because at first he said to me, what is this mentoring and networking stuff all about? But, it really is the way that we could defend this large investment and say, we're protecting this investment by making sure that women that go through this program also have local mentors, that they are networked in this community. And it actually became somewhat doable because our chairman decided that since this would be one of the most important corporate engagement initiatives that we invest in at Goldman Sachs, that the people of the firm could participate.
So a key part of how we're actually delivering, if you will, the mentoring and networking is the people of the firm -- now 30,000 around the world, are actually going to be virtual mentoring through on-line mentoring; teaching some of the modules in the countries in which they're traveling; and having this broad network, which will -- we're actually very engaged with right now with "Vital Voices." I don't know if Alyse or Melanne are here, but we have really been excited to partner with them on this broad notion.
So, one thing that I think Gene touched on about, sort of, the critical nature of this piece of the push-pull -- the tertiary education: As we were building out the program we had a meeting with Geeta Gupta, who is the head of the International Center for Research on Women. And it was Geeta who said, you know, I fought so hard to ensure that in MDG 3 -- the Millennium Development Goal, which is really universal education for girls around the world -- I fought really hard that we had to say there must be a tertiary platform. Because what's happening -- after all this worthy attention to primary and secondary schooling has been given, and it has got to continue to be given, of course -- but one of the things that's happening is girls are graduating now from secondary school, and the question is, "Now, what?"
The question becomes, well -- and it is amazing when you meet these young women who somehow have made it through secondary -- excuse me, primary schooling, then secondary schooling. And the best case is in Zambia, where it's incredibly difficult to get girls through primary and secondary schooling. And there really emerged this whole issue of, "now, what?," when fathers were saying, "Wait a minute, I spent all this money, I bought the uniforms and the books, and everybody claimed that once my girl got through this, there would be some kind of economic opportunity at the end of it. And, you know, I have a 12-year-old, why am I -- why don't I just pull her out of school, since where is the value?"
Like Gene said, I think it began to have this detrimental effect when there wasn't the answer to, "now, what?," and that path from schooling to work -- not just schooling for schooling's sake.
So, very quickly, we'll just tell you how the three pillars work. The first is the intellectual infrastructure. And what we have very privileged to do is work with a whole host of academic partners, Western institutions in developing countries' schools -- and they're listed, so I won't run through them all, but will tell you there was some real highlights along the way.
The first was talking to the dean of Wharton when he said, yes, we'd love to be a part of this because our view is that business schools should be a force for good. But we need help, we need to leverage what we have. And so through these partnerships that right now include Wharton, and Harvard, and Cambridge, and Brown, and a whole series, working in developing countries, we're going to be pairing these sister -- making these institutions sister schools, and doing two really important things, we hope.
One is training professors in not just, kind of, rote memorization, but rather a more substantive management case study methodology, and also then drafting the local -- or working with the institutions to create locally relevant case studies. We found that in Africa and in India there were many instances where students were studying the HP merger, which, you know, while fascinating, is not the most important thing if you're just trying to grow your business. And so, we actually are really excited about that. And I think this piece -- this intellectual infrastructure piece is the sustainable legacy of the program that will, you know, really, we hope help men and women, by the way, for many, many years to come.
The second, I talked about the certificate. But I did -- I saw John Simon, from OPIC, here and I just -- it struck me, when we set out to take this model of the short-term, high-quality management program, we realized that a very important module had to be access to capital, because, at the end of the day, you can have all the training you want but if you don't have the capital to grow your business or start a business, you know, where are you? And it was so interesting how we were using this, sort of, nomenclature certificates, because Guy said, yes, that's what they call it in Lagos, it's a certificate program. But it never really occurred to us that we would actually issue certificates.
But in talking to people what we realized was that that is a credential in of itself. And so if you're tying to go to a bank and get a loan, or access capital through one of the many OPIC funds that now exist for female entrepreneurs, you've got to actually show that you have an accounting system; you do understand how to market your business. And all of these factors would actually help in obtaining such a loan.
And we have now our first class of 10,000 Women, the first of 25 -- the first of 25 -- the 25 first women began classes in Lagos, Nigeria two weeks ago. And they advertised in the local papers for this program for about 10 days, nearly two weeks, and they got 105 applicants. And it was really unbelievable because the committee of Nigerian businessmen and women who were set up to review the applications said every one of these women had talent; every one of them had passion. And they said, and you all don't understand what the traffic is like Lagos. (Laughter.)
So, for them to actually want to, every weekend for four months -- you know, they're not getting money, they're just getting training. They're desperate to have the training so that they can, in fact, do what they really want to do, and grow their businesses. And our favorite, sort of, example, a woman who had gone through the program before we funded this new series, Ronke Fetuga, who owned a small printing press, basically. And she said that she used to put all of her receipts in a shoe box. That was her accounting system. So when she went to access capital, they weren't too keen on understanding how she was going to really, you know, spend this money wisely. And now, she just told us last week, she's actually got better access to capital; she has this credential. And what she used the capital for was to buy a very large printing press from India. So, it was really, really remarkable.
The third pillar is this mentoring and networking, which we obviously have touched on now a great deal. But I just, I really did want to highlight the interest that I think -- you know, so many people really talk about this, but then you, it's so interesting when you see it actually work. And we're now seeing that people are (paired?). There are 25 people from the firm at every level -- partners to analysts, on-line mentoring. And it's really been inspirational to see the women send in, 'what do you think of this draft business plan?,' and having, you know, people at the firm feel really proud, but also feel like, oh, I know something about this, I can actually add some value here. So that's been really terrific.
I will close by just saying that, you know, I think that we obviously felt it was important that we could always say this was a really smart investment. And yet you look at the social impact opportunities, everything from -- just last year at the G-8, the Blair Commission citing that one of the desperate needs in Africa is management training, because there just isn't the capacity that there needs to be to be taking in the PEPFAR dollars and all the money that's coming in.
But I would tell you, this morning we briefed Senate Foreign Relations staff. They're now marking up the international version of the Violence Against Women Act. And it was so striking to me that they made a major section of this legislation focus on the economic empowerment of women. And I was struck because they decided, in their own research, and I'm sure in talking to many of you, that if we're really going to look at what this means -- this idea of violence against women; economically empowering women, if you look at every Millennium Development Goal, some piece of it could be improved, if you have girls educated and women economically empowered.
But they felt that there's -- they're asking for a lot of money in this legislation, and they felt it was wise, because if you think about our national security interests -- I'm looking at, I see Fran Townsend, or our public diplomacy interests, David Abshire, I think there really is a reason why, when they -- when Senator Biden and Senator Lugar wrote in an op-ed recently that they asked Condi Rice if there was one issue, one issue of all the things that you have seen in your time in the State Department that you would focus on, she said, empowering women, empowering women in every sphere of society. And that is, I think, really critical. I think we all -- we all see that.
But what's, I think, been a watershed moment for this issue is, that this is not a case of the West imposing its ideals. When the U.N. Arab Human Development Report cited that if we really want a more prosperous and peaceful Middle East we have to empower women, and they have to be more of a full participants in society, it wasn't American diplomats talking about that, it was the most prominent Arab scholars. So we feel a real sense of urgency that, perhaps, we didn't set out this -- to do this, but there may be an indirect value in the private sector showing, that this is a smart investment but it's also one that, if implemented well, and many others join, we can be actually working together on national security interests, which -- I'll close with two very quick stories.
One is, we're extremely thrilled that we have a partnership in Afghanistan, where we're working with the American University in Afghanistan, and we've partnered Thunderbird School of Management with them. And one of the women that came to our launch event had been connected with Thunderbird through a project called "Project Artemis." And her name was Rangina. And Rangina had a company called "Kandahar Treasures," where she went around the most conservative provinces, including Bamyan, and found women who made beautiful art crafts in their homes, and sold them and then gave them the proceeds.
And she found this one woman who wanted to really thank her for giving her this opportunity. And she said, "You know, my husband doesn't think I have any value at all. And he couldn't believe that I was actually bringing in some income. Suddenly, he had a little bit of respect for me." And she said, "And he actually, one day, said to me, 'you know, there are all these girls schools being built. I, of course, don't believe in girl's education, but we do have three daughters. I suppose I should ask for your opinion.'" And she said, "Well, thank you so much for asking my opinion. I actually believe we should send them to school because what -- they won't be worth anything to you if they're uneducated. But if they're educated they perhaps can make some money for the family as well."
And she said, you know, power is money -- money is power, no matter how little it is. And Rangina was so touched that this woman in this remote province actually got that. And that's, I think, of course, in itself a story of not only the power of women, but the multiplying effect that this woman would have.
And finally, a light note, which is, on International Women's Day last year the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon invited the chairman of Goldman Sachs to speak with him -- as the only person to speak with him in this event that he had commemorating the day. And, of course, you know, he's very funny. And he called me and he said, "Why would I -- what would I talk about at the U.N.?" And I said, well, you know, I think they want you to talk about this initiative. And he said, "Well, he did say something interesting to me, he said, 'I'm thrilled' -- this is Ban Ki Moon speaking, 'I'm thrilled that NGOs have been focused on this issue. I'm delighted that the World Bank and the U.N., but I want an investment banker up there with me saying, this is a smart investment. I want someone who, when he says nuclear energy is a smart investment, people buy stocks in nuclear energy companies.'"
And I think that that's, you know, I think, a very interesting angle from our very smart secretary general who said, you know, the time has come that this is just the best investment, not just a thing that, you know, we hope will also help in the development sphere.
SPERLING: Thank you.
POWELL: Thank you. (Applause.)
SPERLING: Amanda, the floor is yours.
AMANDA ELLIS: Thank you. It's a great honor to represent the World Bank Group here with such a distinguished group of policymakers and development experts.
And I'd like to start with a quote from our president, Robert Zoellick, who said earlier this year, "Gender and women's economic empowerment is at the core of what we need to do in the field of development. Gender equality is smart economics."
And you've heard, from both Gene and Dina, many of the compelling microeconomic arguments, and the multiplier effect that increasing, and investing in, women's human capital has on family health, family nutrition, and particularly on girls' education. In fact, for the economists in the room, there's an estimated 12 to 24 percent income elasticity of demand relating to girls' education. So, it's very important.
And at the macro level, recent research has shown that developing countries with higher gender equality have lower rates of poverty. And those of you who are avid readers of The Economist will remember a couple of years back, in April, 2007, when The Economist said, forget India, forget China, forget the internet, economic growth is driven by women.
And the point that Dina made about women's increased participation in the labor force, the estimate over the last decade is that women's increased participation in the labor force has contributed more to global growth than China. So, we're talking about important numbers here. And I think it's really critical to reiterate the fact that, with all the competing priorities -- global energy crisis, global warming, rising food prices, President Zoellick has singled out women's economic empowerment as one of his legacy issues.
Earlier this year at the spring meetings, when we were lucky to have Dina with us to host this book of case studies on women doing business in Africa -- and I have a few, if people would like to get those later, President Zoellick made six new commitments to women's economic empowerment. And among those was a special commitment to increase a new modality at the World Bank, which has been a public-private partnership in Liberia between Nike and the World Bank, in improving the transition from school, to work, and to entrepreneurship. And we're very excited now to be partnering with Goldman Sachs and others to expand this initiative in a number of new countries.
Now, President Zoellick also made mention at that same meeting of the critical importance of not just development practitioners developing country governments, and civil society recognizing this issue, but also he made reference, of course, to this fabulous new initiative, $100 million investment in 10,000 Women. And I'm sure, if he'd known about Endeavor, he would have said, how fabulous your program was and that you need more women too. (Laughter.)
So, many of you are familiar with Madeleine Albright's saying, that there's a special place in hell for women who don't support other women. (Laughter.) I'd like to go further and say that I think there's a special place in heaven for men that support women's economic -- (laughter) -- empowerment. And, obviously, Gene Sperling -- (applause), President Zoellick and Lloyd Blankfein are all going to heaven. (Laughter.)
So, I'd like to tell a little anecdote before I go through the numbers -- and you expect, I'm a boring economist from the World Bank, I'm going to give you all the numbers -- where are we, and where are we going. I'd like to tell you about a woman entrepreneur called Julian Omalla in Uganda. Ten years ago Julian literally had nothing except one red dress, which she washed out every night, and a wheelbarrow that she used to take fruit to market to sell to make money for her family.
Now, over time, Julian was a very savvy trader and she worked out that if she took the overnight bus to Kenya, and stood up all the way, it would only cost her half the fare. So, she would do that, and she would bring back goods from Kenya and sell them. And as many women in Africa who were stuck in the informal sector -- for a whole host of policy reasons I'm going to talk about later, she began to trade her way up.
And she saved $100, and with that $100 she made an investment. She did a food processing certificate. And she realized that there was a gap in the market. And while people were selling fresh fruit, what about juice? And what about canned fruit? And Julian began slowly to invest. And then she used her wheelbarrow to go to the local scientist and actually be able to get her products vetted so that they were phytosanitarily able to be sold.
Now, 10 years on, Julian took part in a loan program through the Development Finance Corporation in Uganda, which we did at IFC -- and I must be honest, I copied my Westpac model; showed that we'd made half a billion dollars there in new revenues in three years; and told our friends and colleagues at IFC that it would work just the same in developing countries, but that we needed to apply those specific lines of credit to women in a way that packaged it with more than, as Gene said, just finance. So, taking Dina's idea, but on a much more modest scale, and actually providing assistance in how to write a bankable business plan.
And by this stage, Julian had quite a big business, but she'd never borrowed so she hadn't been able to take it to scale. So, she went and she did this course, which actually looked at things like self-confidence; and how do you talk to your husband in a way -- and I thought Dina's story was gorgeous, it really, her story in Afghanistan -- how do you persuade your husband that really you should be doing business, and that, get that angle so that you get his permission.
And after she had done this course she felt so empowered. And she really understood her financials, from having grown organically, that she took out her first business loan. And I can now report that she has 450 employees; is turning over $4 million a year; and has the largest juice processing factory in Uganda. And those are the kinds of case studies that you'll find in this book.
So just where are we in terms of results? In 2006, watershed year, gender parity was reached in primary enrollment in every region in the world, except Sub-Saharan Africa. Completion results for girls improved to 60 percent -- improved in all regions, still a long way to go in South Asian (Myanmar ?) and Sub-Saharan Africa. And in secondary education, around 40 percent, so still some progress to go.
We know that this translates it through into higher earnings, better health, lower fertility. Did you know that in Niger 40 percent of girls between 14 and 19 are either pregnant or already mothers? In Bangladesh, it's 30 percent. In Uganda, for girls who have had no education, 7.8 live births per woman -- third highest fertility rate in the world; population will double in the next 30 years.
But, for those girls who've completed secondary school, 3.8 live births per woman. This is really important, as Dina said, in terms of social impact, as well as economic impact. And for those of you who are familiar with the work of David Dollar and Roberta Gatti, across 100 countries an additional 1 percent of women completing secondary school translates through into a 0.3 percent increase in GDP per annum. Very important.
But what next? Gene's big question, "What now?" The ability to earn an income is absolutely critical. And while we are making progress on the educational front, there is so much more that needs to be done, in terms of investing in women's human capital in business and management education, to translate through into better labor force participation and higher numbers of women entrepreneurs able to create jobs.
At age 24, the gap in Latin America and the Caribbean is already 30 percent. In South Asia, while 82 percent of men are active, only 27 percent of women are. And ladies and gentlemen, the bad new is that the gap widens with age. The ILO estimates that over the past decade 70 million women have -- unemployed, has translated through into 82 million unemployed. So, today's topic is really a crucial one.
And one more economic comparison. Looking at East Asia, where there has not only been a focus on women's education, but also women's economic education and ability to participate in the labor force. And then comparing that to the Middle East- North Africa region, where we know there's been huge strides in tertiary education recently -- and, in fact, 62 percent of university graduates in the Middle East-North Africa region are now women, but there hasn't been that same ability to translate into labor force participation and entrepreneurship.
Okay, so had the Middle East-North Africa region had the same kinds of policies as East Asia, over the last decade growth would have been $424 billion more -- $424 billion more. That's 0.7 percent per annum growth. Very important. So this brings us to the issue that you were expecting the World Bank to raise, and this is policy frameworks. The work that private sector firms like Goldman Sachs is doing, the work that Endeavor is doing -- absolutely critical, but without the right kinds of policy frameworks we can only take this so far.
So, looking at the U.S., and the 1988 Act, of Women's Business Ownership, the fact that there are specific women's business centers which train women in how to take advantage of access to capital, the kinds of educational programs needed; the fact that the U.K. now has a Strategic Framework on Women's Enterprise that has copied the U.S.; my own country, in New Zealand, done a very similar thing, recognizing the positive externalities that women's business education can create in terms of higher growth and more jobs, how do we translate that through -- into developing countries?
And some countries are recognizing the importance, but they just haven't worked out the right frameworks. Take Senegal, for example -- which was one of the few countries in the world to have a Ministry of Women's Entrepreneurship, but unfortunately the primary policy has been to create, at below-market interest rates, a fund for women without the commensurate training. So, the results have not been as expected.
And in Bangladesh, the Women's Business Association is realizing the importance of access to capital -- lobbied the central bank, and they said, we need interest rates of 10 percent, not the market rates of 16 percent. Guess what? The commercial bank said, well, that doesn't really work for us. And despite the fact that there's been such success with microfinance in Bangladesh, only 1.67 percent -- sorry, I'm obsessed with numbers -- (laughter), only 1.67 percent of SME loans go to women in Bangladesh. So, there's so much to be done here.
Now to finish, finally, with a story that I think really showcases the importance of the three levels. The microlevel, where women need to be educated, they need to understand how to write a bankable business plan and how to read their financials.
Then, at the meso level, you need institutions like Goldman Sachs, like Endeavor, like commercial banks that recognize the importance of investing in women. And I can tell you that in IFC we did $30 million line of credit in Nigeria; $5 (million) into Tanzania; $6 (million) into Uganda.
They're some of the best equity investments that I have seen made over the last years. Despite the skepticism that Guy and I faced when we were talking to some of our colleagues initially, people now get the fact that this is a smart investment. We all need to work together to help banks -- banks who are members of the Global Banking Alliance for Women, for example, already get this. Let's get more banks joining that Alliance.
And finally, at the government, level let's change the legislation so that women can access land. In Kenya, for example, women own 1 percent of property titles; they're 48 percent of entrepreneurs. The constitution says "custom law," where women don't own land, don't inherit land, "overrides principles of gender equality." Let's try and change that.
So, one of the projects I'm now managing at the Bank is called "Doing Business: Opportunities for Women," and it's a global database across 180 countries. It's going to go up in wiki format at the end of September. And I would like you all, please, to reach out to the women lawyers you know, the women business owners you know, and help them help us validate the information that's there.
We want to look across all the indicators in the "Doing Business" project at the World Bank -- from starting a business, to registering property, to accessing capital, to really look at where are the obstacles for women, so that they're able to take advantage of the opportunities that can really create a transformative effect across the private sector.
So the story I'm going to finish with is of Victoria Kisyombe from Tanzania, who, as a widow, had something very usual happen. Her husband, who is Maasai, left her a cow. And, as you know, in most of East Africa women end up with nothing when their husbands die, which is a huge problem because of AIDS. And women are five times as likely to be infected with AIDS now because of this gender problem.
So Victoria was left with a cow. And she was able to use that to sell at market and feed her 1-year-old. And she looked around and she thought, gosh, I'm finding this really hard. How about all the women who have nothing, who are left with absolutely nothing -- and they're the majority? And she said, okay, with five other widows, we're going to start the Sero Women's Business Association.
And they trained other women in business education. And they also invested money to buy them an asset -- a goat, a sewing machine. And with that money, other women were able to benefit. And we were able to give her a loan through IFC, just a $1 million arm lend (ph) as part of a commercial facility. She went from 3,000 people that she'd built up over 10 years; in one single year she's added 10-and-a-half thousand clients; and she's now getting two major investments. So this is taking things to a whole other level.
All of her clients also have to, compulsorily, attend a business education. But the most exciting thing is that she became an advocate for change, because the microleasing that she'd invented wasn't even legal. And so, with some support from Vital Voices and the Gates Foundation, she was able to advocate for change. And in April this year, leasing legislation was passed in Tanzania.
So, micro, meso, macro -- those are the three pieces that we need to bring together to help support women in really making a transformative change in private sector development.
Thank you. (Applause.)
LINDA ROTTENBERG: Well, I was thinking during Gene's very kind, and perhaps over the top introduction, that I now know why Angelina Jolie only will sit on panels where he moderates. (Laughter.)
And I want to say, you know, I'm here in part because any time Dina Powell picks up the phone and asks me to do something, I say, of course. But, I didn't realize that I was going to be reunited with Jim Jones. And I think one of the things that I'm going to talk about is the power of someone believing in you -- with your crazy idea that you can do it.
We hear again and again at Endeavor that the key factor preventing people from taking risks and thinking big is the lack of role models, the lack of mentoring that you've heard, but also the lack of someone believing in them. And 16 years ago, when I was leaving Yale Law School and out to set on a trajectory -- first to pursue social entrepreneurship, and then eventually business entrepreneurship in Latin American and other emerging markets -- I went to visit Jim Jones. And he was one of the few people who told me I was crazy but he still believed in me, and set me off on this path. So, it's very meaningful that he's here.
So, I think it's an interesting trajectory. I'm here representing, I guess, the aspirational leg of the curve, and women role models at, what we call the "high impact level." And just to give you some background, I co-founded Endeavor ten-and-a-half years ago to bridge a gap between all the attention and financing going to microfinance, at the lowest level, and all the money going into private equity, that was really benefitting the same 10 families and the same 15 companies in these economies.
And I said, well, what about the middle? And I was living in Argentina at the time, and everyone I knew was a taxi driver with an engineering degree. And I kept saying, well, why aren't you starting your own company? Why aren't you becoming an entrepreneur? And it was then that I learned that there was no Spanish and no Portuguese word for "entrepreneur" at the time.
And, one of my favorite days at Endeavor was when the editor of the Portuguese-Brazilian dictionary called up our office and said, in large part, because of Endeavor's work, they were adding "emprendedor" and "emprendedorismo" into the lexicon. And we're already working on Arabic. It's happening -- yeah. (Laughter.)
So, we've now screened 18,000 companies. We define "high impact" as entrepreneurs with anywhere from start-up to $15 million in revenues, that really have the power to create jobs, to transform an industry, and to impact the economy -- but that can really scale. And, so we're working in six countries in Latin America, South Africa, and we most recently launched in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and India. And of those 18,000 entrepreneurs, 333 from 220 companies had been elected Endeavor Entrepreneurs as of last year. We provide them a series of networking and mentoring support, and last year those entrepreneurs generated $2.4 billion, collectively, and over 90,700 jobs. (Applause.)
But -- there's a "but." (Laughs.) And the "but" is that two years ago, I looked at numbers and 10 percent of the Endeavor Entrepreneurs were women. Now, we've set up a series of plans, and 18 months later it's now up to 12.5 percent. But, that's not good enough. So I want to tell four stories -- we've had wonderful stories, I'm going to continue in that legacy and explain what we've learned and some of the things that we think can be done to increase that number.
And one of the things that Dina mentioned is these locally relevant case studies. And it's a great pleasure that one of the things we're just announcing is that, as part of their 10,000 Women program, Stanford University, funded by Goldman Sachs, is going to be writing some case studies on some of them female Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
So, let me tell you the four stories and the lesson we extracted from each of them. The first is a woman Lemao Seleka, who grew up in Limpopo, a very poor region of South Africa. Her mother worked seven days a week as a domestic employee to pay for Lemao's education. And she eventually got a corporate job. So, you can imagine when she decided to leave her corporate job and invest money in her own business, it took a year before Lemau could muster up the courage to tell her mother that she'd actually left the corporation.
And we found her, she had just started something called Medupe Electrical Supplies. She wanted to be the only woman-owned company that would be the leading supplier of electrical supplies in the African utility space. We put her in touch with Monte Sachs (sp), the chairman of one of the major health care companies in South Africa. He helped her negotiate a deal with 3M, and a couple years later she's quintupled her revenues.
And she now, realizing her story can have an impact -- we heard the multiplier effect, one of the things she's doing as part of her give-back program, that we encourage at Endeavor, is she's now financing part of her high school in Limpopo, and going in and mentoring young girls there to kind of keep the circle going. So we learned there the importance of role models, and obviously giving back, and what mentoring can really accomplish.
The second is, I was saying, okay, we've got to find these women entrepreneurs. We've got to -- what are we doing wrong? We've got to put people in more remote areas, or make sure that no stone is unturned. So, we started a program recently in Patagonia in Chile -- in southern Chile, and we found a woman named Karina Von Baer working in the agribusiness sector. Now, most of you who've been in Chile might know that it's one of the most macho countries in Latin America -- which is saying a lot. And the agribusiness sector, in particular, is notorious.
Well, Karina had realized that salmon is one of the major industries for Chile, and fish oil -- because doctors were prescribing fish oil as human supplements for the benefits, that they were being depleted for the salmon industry. So she created the first rapeseed oil factory and was elected as an Endeavor entrepreneur. We immediately put a case of M.I.T. Business School students to look at the potential for rapeseed oil, both commercially and also as a biodiesel fuel, in addition to the agribusiness. And in two years the revenues have grown from $3.5 million to $11.7 million, and Karina was recently named one of Chile's top 100 entrepreneurs.
The third story, which really strikes me as something that's -- that I've heard today when you were talking about the Ugandan woman, an opportunity she saw. A lot of -- I'm a huge fan of microfinance, and I think it's really important, but I think one of the signals it sends, unintendedly, is that everyone's an entrepreneur, and that being an entrepreneur is really what's now called "a necessity entrepreneur."
And I think it's really important for people to establish their own income, but I think we have to differentiate those from really high-scale companies that are really going to impact their economies. And I think we do women sometimes a disservice by assuming that all the entrepreneurs we see, who are women, are going to be staying small. And the story that really hit home, in terms of the potential, that if we could unleash was really out there -- is the story of Heloisa Assis and her cousin Leila.
Heloisa, who goes by "Zica," was one of 13 children born in a favela in Rio. And her mother was a maid, and her father was a janitor. And she worked as a maid, and as a nanny, and then as a hair dresser, where she realized that there were no products for curly-haired women. And most of the Brazilian population, particularly the Afro-Brazilian population where she's from, had curly hair.
So she co-opted her cousin Leila, and they came up with a concoction -- now, I should say entrepreneurship is the story of trial and error, and you don't always work on your first chance. And they enlisted their husbands to try the products, and their husbands' hair promptly fell out. (Laughter.) And when I found out about this, I told my husband -- my husband, Bruce Feiler, is an author and he sometimes says, oh, he should get credit for all of the work he does supporting Endeavor. And I looked at him and I said, aghh, you have it so easy. (Laughter.) At least you still have most of your hair -- (laughs) -- and not because of me. (Laughter.)
They were not deterred, and they created the first hair salon in Rio for these products, and noticed that people were waiting in line four hours to go. They became Endeavor entrepreneurs. We helped them with a franchising plan; we helped them bring in managerial talent; and today they serve 50,000 customers through seven locations. They employ of 1,000 women and have generated over $30 million in revenues.
And this was one of the stories that we want told through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, because Zica and Leila are so convinced, that they need to tell their stories in the favelas in Rio, that it's not just -- microfinance is wonderful, and if that's what you aspire to, you should get your loan, but if you want equity capital, if you want to think big, listen to our story. We came from nothing, and look at where we are.
And the last story is one that Dina knows well. We just selected our first Egyptian entrepreneurs -- two of them, and one is a woman, a mother-daughter story. And (Azifami ?) quit the civil service, which was unheard of in 1970s, to take an apprenticeship in Cairo's craft markets. And this was unheard of. She was really -- it was socially unacceptable and truly crazy.
She didn't realize she didn't have enough skills, so she went to London to study, and came back and started (Azifami ?) Jewelry, that's creating world-class jewelry with traditional branding. And today it's one of the most well-regarded jewelers in the Arab world. Her daughter, who now has business education, is taking over, and they just tried to expand into Bahrain, Jordan and the UAE. So, Endeavor's coming in really to support the daughter. This is a transition. (Azifami ?) is handing the reins over to her daughter.
And we find, again and again at Endeavor, are these family-owned companies where the next generation is taking it to a new level. And so the idea of management education, the idea of, when do you bring in outside people -- I always say one of the first pieces of advice we give is how to fire your brother-in-law. (Laughter.) This is a type of management education that's really needed, and why what Goldman is doing, and what Amanda's working on is so important at the policy level and others.
And the last thing I'll say is -- just to invoke a little bit of controversy, is, I don't believe that everyone can be an entrepreneur. And I think that's an important signal. But I think that the entrepreneurial economy is where most of the jobs are going to be generated in the emerging markets and developing world. And I think that we need to retool the education. See, I told you I'd bring it back to education (laughs). We really need to retool education, not for government employees, not for working in the largest corporations, but what are the skills you need to work in for fast growing companies?
And the last story I'll tell is, I was in Argentina when the peso devalued 66 percent. And I thought, oh my god, this is a nightmare. Not only are our entrepreneurs going to collapse, but we have an event coming up where people had to pay $50, they can only get $100 out of the bank in a month for entrepreneurial education and tooling your skills.
And I went to the airport -- I was really depressed, and thousands of people were waiting in line. And no one knew who I was, so I do kind of "a man on the street." And I said, I don't understand it, why are you here? This seems very expensive. And the answer I got again and again is, "I don't know if I'm an entrepreneur, but I know that in this crisis the government will start shedding jobs, and the private sector's going to start hemorrhaging jobs. And it's these new entrepreneurs that are going to create jobs. I need to go understand what they need, in terms of their employees, so that I can fix my skills, so that I can work in one of these companies." So, I'll end there.
SPERLING: I'll just echo that we have obviously had this conversation at Goldman. And I would say that when we were looking at investing in entrepreneurs in poor parts of the United States, and why equity capital didn't go there, one of the things we heard over and over again was, not the belief that there weren't Sergey Brin's in rural and urban Americas, but that Sergey Brin's and Larry Page's had a whole network of people who could be either chief operating officers, et cetera, and that it was so much work.
And so I think one of the reasons that we used business education in this was to say that it's not just being the entrepreneur, but the supporting cast.
We have only a very, very few minutes left. So, let me ask if there are a couple of people who would like to make a very quick comment. I'm going to pick Paula. I'm just going to pick these three right in this row, and start with Paula.
QUESTIONER: Thanks, Gene, and thank you all. That was a wonderful presentation. And for a CFR event --
SPERLING: If you can identify yourself.
QUESTIONER: Paula Stern, the Stern Group, CFR member and also, I should say, a member of the board of Avon, the corporation for women that has 5.7 million entrepreneurs working as we speak, and has been doing so for the more than 100 years. And I really would love to see the -- some of the documentation of some of the incredible entrepreneurs that we have -- penetrating the deepest, darkest Amazon of Brazil, taking educational and hygiene information, as well as their products and selling.
And Avon is the largest microfinancier in the world -- (laughs) -- if you look at the numbers of people that we -- that we impact and give to.
So, to the extent to which there is some direct practical work -- as you said, Goldman Sachs, it needed to be the investor saying we're investing in women -- well, Avon's been investing all of these years in women, and we would love to see a lot of the practical activities that we do get, if you will, the kind of cross-fertilization that's coming from this development approach that you all represent. Thank you.
POWELL: Paula, thank you so much for saying that --
SPERLING: And --
POWELL: Oh, I'm sorry, I would just say one quick thing, which is, you not only literally are the model of what we're talking about -- all three of us, but Andrea Jung actually personally participated, when I was at the State Department, in the program that Secretary Rice began, working with -- I don't know if Donna McLarty is here, but you know, the partnership.
Andrea Jung -- this is really unbelievable, for three years in a row mentored an emerging businesswoman who came -- I think she had someone from Russia the first year, and she spent, she allowed three women in a row to spend three weeks with her trying to figure out how she's such an amazing leader. And, I mean, that kind of, you know, personal investment by her was really remarkable.
And it's so great -- she recently described it and she said that in each case, the women returned, and had made such a massive social impact beyond just improving their businesses, but that she had learned so much from each of them. I mean, she's particularly humble, but I thought that was so interesting.
And in Egypt now, that's right, yeah.
QUESTIONER: Thank you very much. My name is -- Chandra Manetuko (ph), and I'm representing United Nations Children's Fund. Thank you for the excellent and inspiring presentations.
What I really have learned, and picked up, and I really agree with, based on my experience in Africa, and also being an African, is the importance of building capacity, from what you are saying, within the countries, and also linking these countries with the Ivy League universities you are working with, and also with experts from the developed world. And I think that is extremely important.
One of the examples I've seen in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia is that there's a critical mass of educated women who are actually making a lot of money out of informal banking, which is part of a African tradition. Even in Nigeria, West Africa, it's very, very famous. You find that they are able to save as much as even half a million dollars, but they don't know how to make use of that money and scale up to really invest in the development of the country.
And I used to be curious about that. And one of the reasons is because of the type of education. You are taught to be a civil servant. You are taught not to be an entrepreneur. You are not -- and if you look at the curriculum in the commercial business economic field, it's not really addressing self confidence, self-esteem of women. And, as a result, you find that they cannot really break that glass ceiling to really make use of the money which they've already saved.
Another challenge I found is that you find that a lot of the highly capable women going to South Africa, if they don't go to Europe or to America. And it's because of these small countries don't have a private sector. If it's there, it's very, very small. So, how are you going to build an entrepreneurship spirit in small countries with 1-and-a-half million, 2 million -- like Namibia and some of these islands, because they don't have a market and they don't really know how they could even help in sustainable development within their own countries.
So, I think I would really like us to continue this discussion, and link-up with organizations like UNICEF -- thanks to Gene inviting us, to see how we can take this further on the ground within these countries.
SPERLING: Thank you.
QUESTIONER: Hello, my name is Paul Stevers, Moderates for Peace.
I was very impressed with the discussions. One thing that I didn't see was any talk about the -- really the incredible impact of wireless communications. I read that it's around 2 billion new phones in service in the last two years -- no, 1 billion phones serviced last two years.
And they talk about wireless -- sorry, mobile banking going -- in the next five years, going a billion people on-line mobile banking. I would say that's going to have almost more impact than anything. I mean, that could like overwhelm the situation. So, I'd like you -- what's your thoughts around that?
SPERLING: I'm going to let each of our panelists respond to either of those, or have a very short last word so we can try to make -- (inaudible) --
POWELL: (inaudible) -- here's one.
SPERLING: What's that?
POWELL: (Off mike.) Oh, I just thought you had one more.
ELLIS: Who wants to go first?
SPERLING: Anyone? Amanda.
ELLIS: Quickly, on access to markets, I think it's such a critical issue. But to take the example of Rwanda, which is a tiny land-locked country where it's very difficult to export. And one women there called Janet Nkubana was given a break by USAID, and then met Willa Shalit, whom some of you will know -- "The Vagina Monologues," et cetera.
And Willa made the connection with Macy's, and now there are 3,000 Hutu and Tutsi women sitting together weaving baskets, weaving the peace baskets. So, I think that it is about making these connections. Even if you're in a small, isolated place, there is still a way to get your goods to market.
POWELL: I might just pick up on the wireless question, and also the -- talk about the local challenges and the investments.
You know, I think there absolutely is something -- and maybe Linda will talk a little bit about -- One of the people -- Linda has this unbelievable ability to get people like Jim Jones, and Naguib Sawiris the, you know, most successful businessman in Egypt, to believe in Endeavor. And, of course, he runs, you know, the largest wireless company in the world.
But it struck me when you said that, because a version of that is also the applying technology to dispersing this kind of education. And one of our partners -- Wharton, has an on-line platform called "Knowledge at Wharton," where they will actually be working with us to take the curriculum and the case studies, and disseminate it out.
And when we asked them, well, how will you get to the remote -- the most remote parts? I mean, not everybody has a computer. And he said, well, I have a million subscribers in India that reach this by cell phone. So, I mean, it's just unbelievable, the cell phone technology that we hope will, you know, not just leverage our initiative, but many, many others.
And I also just wanted to one quick word about the investments. You know, one thing that was very important -- and one thing I learned at Goldman Sachs, is that you measure, measure, measure everything. And there are metrics, upon metrics. And in our Strategic Business Plan, and working actually with the Brigdespan Group, we really set out, you know, to think about five years, and how these investments would be made in terms of our strategic long-term business interests, but also where is there the most opportunity for small investments making huge impact in the developing world?
And we realized very quickly that step one should be that every penny is actually invested in the developing world. And I am someone, by the way, who's a huge champion of exchange programs. I see Ann Johnson (sp) over there snickering (laughs). But, I think that in this case, we really did want to create this infrastructure in-country that would remain for, you know, many decades to come, so that these investments would be actually made on the ground and not by, you know -- we certainly don't view ourselves as the experts. I mean, we are working with the local -- not only academic partners, but local NGOs who really understand that a girl and woman's life has many challenges along the way, and how can we work together to create a program that's most beneficial.
ROTTENBERG: I'm good.
SPERLING: Well, I think the fact that 120 people showed up today is quite testament, not only to the power of our three panelists, but the power of this issue. Thank you all for coming and please feel free, not only to come talk to us, but to come talk to me about follow-up ideas, panels, that we can do to continue to focus on this incredibly important area.
Thank you very, very much. (Applause.)
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