The second annual 10,000 Women Leadership Academy brought more than 100 partners from around the world to Washington, D.C. from June 6-9, 2010. Opportunity International was honored to be in attendance to represent the Emerging Leaders Program, a part of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women initiative.http://www.opportunity.org/about/strategic-partners/Goldman Sachs[/intlink] created the 10,000 Women program to empower women entrepreneurs worldwide by providing business and management training to them. Since its launch two years ago, the 10,000 Women program has trained 2,000 women in 20 developing countries.
The kickoff of the Leadership Academy included addresses by former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, appointed by President Obama as ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues. During dinner held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Dr. Rice summed up the basis for the 10,000 Women initiative when she said, “On many occasions I’ve been asked, ‘What’s the one thing you would do if you could wave a magic wand and make the world better?’ And I always come to one as central: I would empower women.”
The influential leaders who addressed the participants at the academy underscored that empowering women in developing economies is a priority in many sectors. Other leaders who attended or spoke at the Academy included: Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy; founder and CEO of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi; and the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass.
The significance of empowering women was perhaps most evident in the speeches given by four honored graduates of the 10,000 Women program. The women entrepreneurs were from Kenya, India, Brazil and Afghanistan. Each shared their personal story and spoke movingly about how the 10,000 Women initiative has not only helped grow their businesses but, more importantly, has changed their lives.Opportunity International and the other program participants took full advantage of the three days of meaningful exchange, networking and camaraderie with colleagues associated with the Leadership Academy. Panel sessions, speakers and interactive workshops offered wonderful opportunities to share successes, best practices, program innovations, challenges, and insights gained along the journey. Our Opportunity International team is looking forward to welcoming our next class of Emerging Leaders participants at our program in Nairobi, Kenya this fall. http://www.opportunity.org/opportunity-international-emerging-leaders-program/Click here to learn more about Opportunity’s Emerging Leaders Program.[/intlink]
-Marianne Potterton, Director, 10,000 Women Emerging Leaders Program