Support for Ethnic Women's Entrepreneurship Partnership gains momentum
Efforts to help ethnic minority women living in poor rural communities start their own small businesses gained overwhelming support from more than 12,000 participants at the Mary Kay Cosmetics China Leadership Meeting in Macao. Following the signing of a unique strategic Public-Private Partnership with the international cosmetic company in late 2011, this event provided a timely opportunity for UNDP to draw further attention to the powerful role that women can play in contributing to sustainable development in China. During which, UNDP Deputy Country Director, Ms. Silvia Morimoto, gave an inspiring speech at the closing session to encourage working women to look beyond the success of China's 300 million women entrepreneurs and support those whose pathways to prosperity have yet to be trodden. Mr. K.K Chua, President of Mary Kay Asia Pacific also delivered a speech at the event, which was also attended by President of Mary Kay (China), Mr. Paul Mak.
"The economic performance of women can increase the productivity of entire nations, and even the world," said Morimoto. "That is why it is so important that China's bright and innovative ethnic minority women are given the full opportunity to engage in economic development and entrepreneurship."
Collaboration between UNDP and Mary Kay is currently enhancing the effectiveness of grants provided to ethnic minority women through the Mary Kay Women's Small Business Fund. In doing so, it is providing training and institutional support to local women and women's organisations to organise their workforces and develop modern entrepreneurial skills, with additional support coming from the China Women's Development Federation.