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May 2015

Continuing the Legacy of Josiah Wedgwood: Why I Support Women Entrepreneurs

By | News

030836aIn my role as Chair of Trestle Group Foundation’s 20:20 initiative, we will empower 20,000 women entrepreneurs in emerging economies by 2020.

When asked why I support women entrepreneurs – the answer is easy: simply put, because it is the most effective solution to create more stable communities, real employment and positive social impact. When women succeed, they reinvest heavily – positively impacting their families, communities and countries. When women-owned and led small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) proliferate, they create more balanced economies and a stable society.

Josiah Wedgwood, my eight descendent grandfather, left us a legacy of doing well by doing good. I am very fortunate to have him as a role model and to come from a family dedicated to fairness, social progress, creativity, innovation and responsible business. These are the attributes I come across everyday working with the incredible women entrepreneurs through the Trestle Group Foundation. It is inspiring and it gives a great sense of hope that there are solutions to the many problems we face today, especially when it comes to employment and gender equality.

A confluence of entrepreneurial drive, experienced human capital, financial accessibility, engagement by both genders and the right entrepreneurial toolkit (especially with networks and resources) is what Trestle Group Foundation delivers in support of women entrepreneurs. The Foundation’s foresight 10 years ago to provide this ecosystem is what attracted me to the organization.

From a personal perspective, I have seen this to be true within Wedgwood’s own history. As we are in the midst of the 100th anniversary of the Great War, I am reminded when the Chairman and CEO of Wedgwood, Major Cecil Wedgwood, lead 178 men from the factory to the battlefields of the Western Front. This left a huge hole in the company. This hole was filled by his daughter and all the creative, innovative and brave women who directed Wedgwood across leadership, finance and production roles. This not only made the company profitable during the war, but also created a stable community for the men returning from the frontline.

Today, Wedgwood is a brand that has lasted more than 250 years not only because of Josiah’s passion and vision, but also because of these women.

Josiah Wedgwood would definitely approve of our 20:20 Initiative.

To achieve our vision, we need your support.

Here is how you can help:

100% of your donation will go to the entrepreneurs in the form of customized training, coaching and human capital support. For every donation of 100 CHF, donors will receive a limited edition, handmade Oranges gift mug. Specially designed by my wife Yumi and me, each mug represents one of the 20’000 women supported.

  •  Help connect us with your company or organization.

The Foundation programs provide a unique opportunity for leading organizations to engage and reinforce established business objectives and values.

  • Share the 20:20 Initiative with your friends, families, business and social networks.

To learn more about the initiative, please visit:

I encourage you to join us and help us achieve our goal of empowering 20’000 women entrepreneurs.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

Thomas R. Wedgwood

[email protected]

Over 18 years, Tom Wedgwood served in various leadership roles for Waterford Wedgwood (now WWRD) in the Americas and Asia Pacific. He has advised on corporate responsibility, branding, and go-to-market strategies in emerging economies. Tom is dedicated to philanthropic endeavours that promote social progress, support SMEs and sustainability.