Thursday, September 24, 2009

"The New Girl Power" - Center Stage at CGI

Ok.. if you want even more validation about this being the time, the moment, to INVEST in WOMEN and GIRLs read this about what is happening this week at the Clinton Global Initiative. " Former President Bill Clinton connected all the dots: “I think empowering women is central to what the world has to do in the 21st century,” he said flatly, introducing the panel on “Investing in Women and Children” at the Clinton Global Initiative’s second day of meetings in New York City." My heart is pounding so hard I can barely type. This is a must read article on the Daily Beast and thank you Lynn Sherr for writing it. It is so important to have men, and not just women, send this message and more importantly, to act upon it. There is so much evidence that empowering women and girls is the way to improve what ails this world and the story is now being told in the highest of places.

2 comments:

crespin79 said...

http://www.strategicbookpublishing.com/Management-TidbitsForTheNewMillenium.html

I write books on leadership, ethics, teamwork, motivation, women in the workforce, sexual harassment and bullying, trade unions and major areas of business law. I believe that women should be given more importance in the corporate world, especially when most leaders claim to understand the meaning of the term "ethical leadership." Or should I assume that most leaders do not practise what they preach and that "ethical leadership" is, in fact, an oxymoron?

Dirkus said...

I am a corporate financial adviser to a black women's savings and investment movement in South Africa, known as Akhona (meaning "we are here"). (see http://www.akhonatrade.co.za)

Akhona was founded in 1996 by women with a vision of mobilising the collective savings of women - a strong tradition in South Africa - to claim a meaningful stake in the emerging Black Economic Empowerment investment opportunities. It has made several investments, one of which has been spectacularly successful; but for various (many funding related) reasons, it still needs funding. (Some grant funding to help Akhona build its network, improve its systems and communications, etc.; and some medium term investment funding to help it secure opportunities that would otherwise be too large for the existing membership - and to enable new joining investor groups to participate in opportunities secured now.)

The regular contribution of savings capital over several years makes Akhona's model of empowerment investment notably different from most other BEE investment groups', which have tended to rely on very high gearing and therefore only work in rising markets.

There are great opportunities out there at the moment for those who have cash to invest.

For some time I have been trying to raise a special purpose private equity fund, which I have dubbed the Grassroots Women's Empowerment Fund, whose purpose would be to invest alongside women's savings and investment groups such as Akhona, securing for these investment groups the opportunity to take, for example, a 25% stake in company, where initially they might only be able to afford a 10% stake. This would be possible because the private equity fund would buy the 15% stake on a 5 to 7 year view and sell it back to the women's group investors. Fairness to all would be achieved by reciprocal put and call options - the women's group investors would guarantee the private equity fund a "risk free" rate of return by giving the fund a put option; and in return, the fund would accept a cap of 20% on the upside, by giving the women's investors a call option.

I found you and your blog via the Women's Fund Netweork site, while researching possible sources of assistance. Of all the WFN board members, your background and current involvements suggested you would be the person most likely to understand - and, I hope, identify with - what I am trying to achieve. You may wish to check out the modest facebook page I have created to promote the idea of the GWEF: http://www.facebook.com/share.php?appid=2530096808&src=box&tid=2380192238&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.womenmovingmillions.net%2Fhome.html#/group.php?gid=2380192238

I would really appreciate any advice you may care to offer and support you may be able to facilitate.

Thanks in anticipation.

Dirk Kemp