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Women Who Start: Why these entrepreneurs should be honored on International Women’s Day

March 8, 2013

We're honored to have a guest post from UniversalGiving founder and CEO Pamela Hawley to celebrate International Women's Day -- and to showcase other women entrepreneurs who inspire us!

Start it. That's what women do. They are multi-taskers, collaborators, and community seekers. Add some healthy drive to get things done, and they are changing lives of people in their own backyard, and across the world.

We know from microloans that women are scaling their impact way beyond creating a business. They are providing for their families and their communities. In 2010, 104 million women in 59 countries started businesses, generating millions of jobs. In Tunisia, for example, women-owned firms each employ an average of 19.3 workers. We also know that in the United States, women business owners employ 18 million workers, and contribute over $2 billion to the economy.

Women entrepreneurs have special qualities. In general, women rank higher than men on EQ skills (although men are catching up), and therefore are great at building and maintaining a team. They are good listeners; they check-in on their idea, constantly refining it. They stay in touch with their marketplace, because they are thinking about the consumer, and how they react. They do it not only because it is a good business idea -- but because they care.

A woman in rural India fills out her first loan application. The possibilities are limitness.

So here are four women entrepreneurs impacting the world. For International Women’s Day, UniversalGiving salutes women who help women find jobs, buy globally conscious products, or create stable communities. If you want to make a difference -- support one of them -- or join their efforts!

1. Maybrooks

Run by co-founders Debi Ryan and Stacey Delo, these smart women take the long view on how women want to re-enter the workforce. With a marketplace of jobs customized to women, they make it possible for women to get into positions that work your mind, and your wallet, without taking away from your family.

Maybrooks is an online resource where smart moms – at all stages of their careers – can go to find jobs, post jobs, and connect with like-minded women. Our tools harness the powerful word-of-mouth network among moms, and empower them to help each other find flexible careers. These tools equally enable smart employers to leverage the “mom premium” and hire top-tier talent… from part time to CEO.

2. GlobeIn

Support everyone across the world through financial sustainability; that's part of Anastasia Miron's vision. GlobeIn features products from artisans all across the world. Give a gift -- and help a woman's business. Anastasia walks the talk. She grew up in Moldova, then Italy, speaks five languages and is a global citizen of the world.

At GlobeIn, shoppers discover these wonderful one-of-a-kind wares and hear the stories of artisans first hand. With each click, they become armchair travelers and share in another culture. With each purchase, they support not just an artisan, but their craft and their communities as well.

3. BuildChange

If you want to build change across the world, then you do in fact start with a building. Build Change goes into developing nations and ensures that homes and buildings are built sustainably, both before and after an earthquake. Elizabeth Hausler, their founder and executive director, has been leading this effort for 10+ years. I had the pleasure of meeting with her and seeing her build her vision from Day One. You can support them here.

Build Change designs earthquake-resistant houses for developing countries and trains builders, homeowners, engineers, and government officials to build them. Build Change leaves in place permanent change in construction practice by building local skills and stimulating local demand.

Whether for-profit or nonprofit, women entrepreneurs are making their impact. Watch out for them, cherish the work they do, and join them!

Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving™. She is a recipient of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize for public service), a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, a Fast Company Expert Blogger on CSR and a Colburn S. Wilbur Fellow. She has been invited twice to White House events for social innovators, in 2010 and 2012. UniversalGiving is an award-winning nonprofit that helps people give and volunteer with vetted, quality opportunities all over the world.

Twitter – www.twitter.com/PamelaHawley
Facebook – www.facebook.com/UniversalGiving
Blog: Living and Giving – http://pamelahawley.wordpress.com