Launch of Women Entrepreneurs Day for Latam and Caribbean -12th December
When something very special happens, you can feel it right to your core. History in the making. The 12th December 2014 was one of those days for me, when I attended the launch of Latam and Caribbean Women Entrepreneurs Day on Day 2 of WeXchange event for latin American women entrepreneurs in Miami.
At the first WeXchange event in 2013, Marta Cruz from Argentinian Fund and Accelerator NXTP Labs and Susana Robles from the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank committed to creating a special day to represent Women Entrepreneurs from the Latin American and Caribbean regions. Exactly one year later on the 12th December 2014, that commitment became a reality, in front of an enthusiastic crowd of latin american women entrepreneurs and investors.
During the opening ceremony, Marta and Susana unveiled the colourful visual identity for this new Women Entrepreneurs Day for Latin America and the Caribbean designed using a collaborative process by Gustavo Stecher of Mas es Menos.
When Marta and Susana read the 12 point Manifesto for the first time, you could hear a pin drop in the room. Carefully crafted, the manifesto calls for accountability from both women entrepreneurs themselves and venture capitalists alike to break down their gender biases (conscious and unconscious) to unlock the true economic potential of the region. Its words are so powerful, I let them speak for themselves:
Manifesto of Women Entrepreneurs of Latin America and the Caribbean
- Women entrepreneurs propose equality and diversity in business leadership..
- For women entrepreneurs, family is an engine and inspiration, not an impediment.
- Women entrepreneurs dream of a better world and work to build it.
- Women’s value needs to be reconsidered in business and society in general.
- Latin America and the Caribbean need special attention and solutions to lower the barriers for female entrepreneurs.
- Women entrepreneurs seek equal opportunities to undertake entrepreneurial ventures, and, if necessary, to fail and try again.
Today, December 12, 2014, in the city of Miami, a day on which we female entrepreneurs were called upon to represent all women entrepreneurs of the region, we establish as the Day of the Woman Entrepreneur of Latin America and the Caribbean. From this day on, by signing the following 12 points in our Manifesto, we set the foundation for working together towards the future:
1. Women entrepreneurs in Latin America must always seek to grow along with their businesses, and add value and jobs through their organizations.
2. Women entrepreneurs should transform into agents of change who advocate for gender equality in opportunity, so that other women can undertake enterprises and lead their own organizations.
3. Women entrepreneurs should actively avoid silent acceptance and tolerance to the social roles that have systematically sectioned female leadership roles in Latin America.
4. Women entrepreneurs should take responsibility for making their work visible in their communities, so that other women mobilize their own resources and gain courage to start enterprises of their own.
5. Women entrepreneurs should question whether there is a”gender bias” for deciding who does the business pitch to obtain investment capital.
6.The venture capital industry should re-examine its general preference for investing in companies with male CEOs.
7. The venture capital industry should pay more attention to early-stage companies that have women in their founding teams.
8. The venture capital industry should pay more attention to early-stage companies that have women in their founding team.
9. Women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean will boost jobs in their communities in an inclusive and respectful environment that seeks to open communication and generate opportunities for men and women alike.
10. Women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean should commit to making entrepreneurship a valid alternative in life, and not just a title limited to unemployment and low wages.
11. Women entrepreneurs will commit to adding the entrepreneurial agenda to the agendas of their cities, countries, and regions.
12. Entrepreneurs of the region who subscribe to this manifesto commit to marking the 12 th of December as a day for creating a space for communication, collaboration, and learning dedicated to the overcoming the challenges and barriers facing women entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Now women entrepreneurs from the latin american and caribbean region have a day for themselves, the 12th December, to celebrate all their achievements and raise awareness.
Join the movement now and sign the Manifesto here !
Follow this example and help us change the game for women entrepreneurs globally.