So much of the “conventional wisdom” about women entrepreneurs is just not true. Women do have a tolerance for risk. Women are highly motivated to start their own businesses. Women are starting businesses in high-tech fields. Women’s businesses are just as successful as men’s—under comparable conditions.
That’s an important caveat, because all too often, women don’t face the same conditions that men do. They have less access to smart capital. Their circles of advisers and investors are much smaller. They encounter social stigma about women’s roles related to that conventional wisdom I mentioned before.
So how do we begin to change people’s assumptions and give more women entrepreneurs a chance to flourish? One way is through knowledge. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we have worked hard to understand the realities and challenges for women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean, resulting in studies, such as WEGrow and theWEVentureScope, which have helped fill knowledge gaps about the best ways to support women seeking to start and grow businesses. And last year we launched WeXchange, a forum and community through which women entrepreneurs can build their networks, meet mentors and investors, and find inspiration.
There is no better way to prove the doubters wrong than with real-life examples of women who are managing dynamic startups, high-tech firms and multinational corporations. At WeXchange, we’ll hear testimonials from women who have persevered and succeeded. We’ll have a “speed dating” session where women can practice pitching their startups to investors, a pitch competition with an international judging panel, workshops, mentoring sessions, and of course plenty of time for women entrepreneurs to share stories and build their networks. And we’ll do all this in Miami, the most important city for entrepreneurs doing business in Latin America and the Caribbean.
If you’re a woman entrepreneur who works at least partially in Latin America or the Caribbean, or an investor interested in such markets, WeXchange is a unique, can’t-miss event. Visit our website to learn more about the agenda and to complete an application.
See you in Miami!