Dana Brice Smith

Celebrating International Women’s Day 2011 – Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies

By | Dana Brice Smith, Leadership Blog, News

Zürich, Switzerland, March 8, 2011 –A recent opinion editorial by Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, in Bloomberg’s Businessweek  ( stated that, “Today, there are more than 200 million women entrepreneurs worldwide. Women earn more than $10 trillion every year, which is expected to grow by $5 trillion over the next several years. In many developing countries, women’s incomes are growing faster than men’s.”

Trestle Group Foundation, through our Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program, works in collaboration with leading global organizations like IBM and PepsiCo to provide vital “human capital” executive support to high-potential women-led businesses in emerging economies.

The award-winning Partnership Program identifies qualified women entrepreneurs in emerging economies and partners them with established business professionals who help build the skills, strategies, practices and networks needed to overcome barriers to growth, and further develop the entrepreneur’s business.

Our customized, relationship-based program model provides a unique blend of executive coaching, collaborative team support, skill building and networking – actively engaging networks and resources to “open doors” to new business opportunities.

By extension, the partnership aims to support economic opportunities within the entrepreneur’s wider community by allowing her to fulfill her potential and secure long-term business success.

What differentiates the Trestle Group Foundation is its background in and commitment to business drivers, both for the women entrepreneurs and sponsor companies.

The Partnership Program provides a platform for leading organizations – and their executives – to engage, give back and directly affect opportunities for the women-led businesses. Additionally, sponsors can address numerous social and business challenges, while simultaneously reinforcing the company’s established core business objectives and values.

Here is a sample of what executives are saying about Trestle Group Foundation and the Partnership Program:

“Corporations have an obligation to the society that hosts them; we call this Performance with Purpose – achieving business and financial success while leaving a positive imprint on society.  As an international company we take our duty to society very seriously, the partnership with the Trestle Group Foundation is a unique opportunity to give something back to the global community that we serve.” Zein Abdalla, PepsiCo Europe President

“In addition to the executive support provided to the entrepreneurs, participating in the Partnership Program reinforces an important part of our Performance with Purpose agenda – ‘Talent Sustainability’. We are committed to promoting diversity, attracting the world’s best talent and providing challenging opportunities for our women executives to develop their own critical experiences. It’s truly a ‘win-win’ initiative.” Rob Hargrove, Chairman of the PepsiCo Europe Division Diversity & Inclusion Council

“It has been a great experience, one which I would wholeheartedly recommend to others in terms of gaining a critical experience, truly experiencing Diversity & Inclusion within a very different culture, and the ability to truly ‘give back’ to an individual striving to succeed in an emerging economy such as Jordan.” Mary Good, Manufacturing Director of Beverages for PepsiCo’s European Region

“Trestle offers a unique opportunity for IBM employees to connect with women entrepreneurs in some of our key growth markets. Through the coaching program our employees are exposed not only to a market they are not necessarily familiar with but to the mindset of an entrepreneur, useful learning which can be utilized within the IBM corporation.  They are also challenged to use their expertise and skill set in a new environment, which we cannot easily replicate in a corporate situation. It is truly a win – win initiative.” Wendy Papworth, NE/SW IOT Workforce Diversity Manager, IBM

“It has been a great experience to be part of the Trestle Group Foundation coaching program and to able to support Tala (VARCC Communications Jordan) in her success story as a strong and vibrant woman entrepreneur. On the personal level, it was fulfilling to extend my expertise to my home country, Jordan. I’m thankful for this program and to IBM for giving me this opportunity.” Dima Kandalaft, Associate Partner and Public Sector Lead, Middle East & North Africa IBM Global Business Service

“I was able to engage in a deep, sincere and mutually interesting relationship with an amazing businesswoman who was intelligent, ambitious, strong, but also very human and sensitive. I am very happy that our roads crossed, and that I was given an opportunity to help and support her, as well as learn from her. This was a fantastic experience! I am sure we will maintain our relationship in future.” Tatiana Sorokina, Operations Manager, IBM EEA Moscow

Through the Partnership Program, Trestle Group Foundation strives to create “shared value” with our sponsors. When companies do well by doing good, the greater the impact we can achieve on behalf of women entrepreneurs in emerging economies.

You can learn more about International Women’s Day here:

Dana Brice Smith, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Trestle Group Foundation

We relaunch!

By | Dana Brice Smith, News

It has been a long time coming, but we have finally made it. Our new homepage is live, and there is much for you to see and read about.

Join me on a quick tour through the new features available on our site:

  • brand new programs section
  • donate through Ammado
  • twitter stream
  • flickr stream
  • new videos