Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship for Over 30 Years

Have you ever had the feeling that you don’t do enough? I have.

I was on a whirlwind of travel in April that wrapped up in Portland, Oregon, for the first ever Women Entrepreneurs Global Connect Expo & Summit presented by the Astra Women’s Business Alliance, a regional partner of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. While there, we were treated to thought-provoking presentations by two women, Almas Jiwani and Jensine Larsen, who had me thinking about whether I do enough.

Jiwani is president of UN Women National Committee Canada (, which is a committee of UN Women International, the women’s body at the United Nations. Dedicated to advancing women’s rights and achieving gender equality across the globe, UN Women provides financial and technical assistance to innovative programs and strategies that foster women’s empowerment. Jiwani gave an energetic, no holds barred presentation about the work of UN Women around the world. She encouraged the group to consider taking up an area which speaks to our expertise and share it with other women to help them grow. She reminded the room, full of businesswomen at varying stages of their career, that, as they climb the ladder of success, they have an obligation to look back and offer a hand up to those who are doing the same. Her presentation was a strong argument in favor of working collaboratively to achieve success as individuals
and as a group.

Larsen is CEO and founder of World Pulse (, an organization which connects women around the world via digital media. Through her network, she is able to make the voices of women, many of whom have never had the opportunity to tell their stories, heard around the world. She challenged our view of the world and helped us understand that sometimes, all that’s needed may be an acknowledgement or our shared knowledge to effect change for others. Oftentimes, these small gestures can result in major changes. World Pulse’s story proves that empowerment can come from small, unexpected places.

This month, we’re featuring a number of women (and men) who are working hard to improve their lives and the lives of others. LaSonya Berry, our cover feature, got her start in business by mentoring pregnant teens and giving them the skills they need to be successful. We are also proud to feature articles that speak about partnerships and organizational changes designed to improve the prospects for minority and women business owners. These are just a few of the stories that highlight the difference our supplier diversity community is making every day.

As individuals, we might not be able to change the world and end poverty, hunger, and discrimination all by ourselves. But if we do what we can—listen, be a friend, make ourselves available to help others traveling down
a path we have already traveled—then we are doing our part.

I guess the trick is to realize that you can’t do everything. But you can do something with your talents, whatever they may be, and that could be enough to make a difference.


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