WEConnect International matches businesses owned by women with multinational corporations that want to buy more services from women. Madelaine Artavia Sotela of Costa Rica is a prime example of how the initiative can vastly improve women’s livelihoods.
Africa has achieved impressive economic growth in the past 15 years; from 2001 to 2010, six of the world's ten fastest growing economies were in Africa. Although growth has been moderate in recent years, it is expected to regain strength.
Despite reforms, labour markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have been unable to absorb the growing number of job seekers. Women and educated youth are particularly vulnerable to high unemployment. However, data on entrepreneurship and the private enterprise sector in the region have been virtually non-existent.
A new report launched by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) portrays a burgeoning youth-owned business landscape in Africa, as millions of young Africans faced with bleak employment prospects turn to set up their own businesses.