Studies have shown that while women represent half of the global population and one-third of the labor force, they receive only one-tenth of the world income and own less than one per cent of world property.
Realising the enormity of the situation in the Muslim world, the WIEF Foundation established the WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN) aimed at empowering women and optimising their potential through economic and business activities. To this effect, the WBN has undertaken several entrepreneurial development programmes.
Empowering women entrepreneurs since its establishment, the WIEF Businesswomen Network (WBN) has organises many economic empowerment programmes that has benefited women entrepreneurs from more than 25 countries. These programmes have created valuable international linkages between businesswomen in both Muslim and non-Muslim countries. WBN is now expanding its outreach to include women entrepreneurs from Far Eastern countries to be involve in its programmes and activities.
WBN is exploring the possibility of reintroducing the WIEF Businesswomen Forum – an international platform that focuses on the development of women-owned businesses as well as women professionals in the corporate sector. It is also aimed at leveraging the unique connectivity between women entrepreneurs that would provide them greater opportunities for business growth and partnership.
A programme that has enjoyed huge success is the WIEF Online Marketing Workshop. The use of Internet and social media has made online marketing an important strategy to all businesses. However, the benefits of online marketing are sometimes not harnessed by micro-enterprises and small businesses which are mainly owned by women. The WIEF Online Marketing Workshop helped women entrepreneurs understand the importance of social media and its extensive usages in promoting their products and services whilst expanding their customer base. This workshop has been in held in Malaysia, Kenya, Indonesia and Morocco.
WBN will continue its efforts to empower women economically in various sectors through its programmes and activities, and partner and collaborate with other local and international businesswomen organisation that share its aspirations.