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Profile: 10,000 Women Initiative

10,000 Women InitiativeGoldman Sachs
10,000 Women Initiative

According to research, expanding the entrepreneurial talent and managerial pool in developing and emerging economies—especially among women—is one of the most important means to reducing inequality and ensuring shared economic growth. With this fact in mind, in 2008 Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation launched the 10,000 Women Initiative. In partnership with more than 30 of the world’s leading business schools, this five–year, $100 million campaign aims to foster greater shared economic growth by providing 10,000 underserved women around the world with a business and management education.

As part of the initiative, MIT Sloan has partnered with Yunnan University in Kunming, China, to offer the first women’s entrepreneur training program serving the national minorities in Yunnan. “Yunnan is one of the poorest provinces in China,” explained Yasheng Huang, International Program Professor in Chinese Economy and Business, professor of global economics management, and academic lead from MIT Sloan for the program. “In these types of areas, women are the key drivers, creating economic growth and jobs.” The collaboration among Goldman Sachs, Yunnan University, and MIT Sloan provides women entrepreneurs in western China a platform through which they can acquire the knowledge, skills, and resources that will have a long–term impact on not only their own lives, but also on China’s economic and social development.

This past July, the first cohort of the MIT Sloan–Yunnan University 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship program graduated following five months of professional training. The 43 graduates represented both traditional industries such as agriculture and handicrafts and new and emerging industries such as the Internet, medicine, and housekeeping. “The graduates of the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship program at Yunnan are a very impressive group of people, full of energy, ideas, and ambitions,” Huang said. “We congratulate the 43 graduates of the program and look forward to learning about their continued success in their business ventures and careers.”