The way women do business was the focus for Cave Hill School of Business’ administrative manager Sharon Kinch during a recent International Visitor Leadership Program funded by the U.S. Department of State.
Ms. Kinch and 19 other female candidates from around the world spent three weeks in the United States as Fellows of the program, participating in a Multi-Regional Project “Women and Entrepreneurship.”
Ms. Kinch and her colleagues, who are business managers or business owners in diverse fields from ice-cream making to farming, looked at the ways NGOs, government and female entrepreneurs themselves support and empower the development of women-owned businesses.
“All of the agencies I interacted with in the U.S. recognized the importance of empowering women, addressing women’s concerns and providing opportunities and outlets where women can improve their lives at the individual, community and business levels,” noted Kinch of her trip, which took her to Washington D.C., St. Louis, Boise and Portland.
They met with U.S. government officials including the U.S. Department of Labor, the Small Business Administration, and the Congressional Caucus on Women’s Issues to discuss their work in promoting women’s economic development.
They also met with officials of groups such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) to discuss their influence in shaping economic and public policies on women’s entrepreneurship.
She said her experiences on the trip “certainly reinforced” her belief in the importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is the Department of State’s premier professional exchange program. The program brings together emerging leaders in their respective professions to learn how U.S. experts in their professions operate, and to share best practices with the other program fellows who hail from across the globe.