Empowering women entrepreneurs globally and locally
Happy International Women’s Day!
There’s no better way to celebrate than to recognize the contributions of female entrepreneurs locally and around the world. So, if you have a female entrepreneur in your life, I encourage you to thank them for all their hard work in supporting and strengthening our economies and communities.
As any entrepreneur can tell you, starting and growing a business is tough. Deciding to take on the challenge requires inspiration, intelligence, and without a doubt—grit.
In fact, nearly half of all new businesses fail within their first five years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Without access to funding, financial expertise, and business connections, even the most determined entrepreneur is at a huge disadvantage.
Both Bank of the West and our parent company BNP Paribas are doing our part to improve those odds through our programs, knowledge sharing, expertise, and financial support.
One of my favorite examples is that every year we hold a week-long leadership program at Stanford University for female entrepreneurs from around the globe. Over 150 businesswomen representing all kinds of industries and experience levels have attended so far.
Take a look at some of the takeaways from this group of inspiring leaders:
Our next women’s entrepreneur program at Stanford is scheduled for July 2019. But you don’t have to journey to Palo Alto, Calif., to tap into the value of an entrepreneur community. With our global commitment to women entrepreneurs, we are also supporting them at the local level.WE Source, is our newest online resource for women entrepreneurs. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, I really encourage you to do so. Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll find:
- Funding the dream. Learn about financing fundamentals and how to connect with early-stage start-up consultants like those at our partner organization Working Solutions and our own banking experts. There are a variety of tools and resources to help you get your venture off the ground.
- Getting connected. Your network is your net-worth as the saying goes. Find local events and meet-ups geared toward entrepreneurs. Join a community of female business owners with access to business insights, ideas and business happenings.
- Owning the entrepreneur’s journey. No matter where you are in your entrepreneurial endeavor – dreaming, launching, growing – watch inspiring interviews, get expert tips and best practices, as well as first-hand success stories from other female entrepreneurs. From fraud protection strategies to building business credit, to guidance on choosing a mentor, coach or consultant, WE Source gives you “news you can use.”
With an estimated 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing over 9 million people, and generating more than $1.8 trillion in revenues, women entrepreneurs have become a powerful economic force.
We’ve supported entrepreneurs directly in the communities where we work for 145 years. And as part of BNP Paribas, we’re proud of our commitment to positive change both globally and locally – including breaking down barriers for women business owners and accelerating their growth.
We’re piloting WE Source in the San Francisco Bay Area to start off, but stay tuned and sign-up for the latest news as we continue to grow and expand.
For direct access to investment insights, market updates, and perspectives on financial topics from Bank of the West and BNP Paribas leaders, download the Voice of Wealth app, available at the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores.