Katarzyna Piasecki case study

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The Trestle Group Foundation’s award-winning Empowering Entrepreneurs Partnership Program identifies qualified entrepreneurs in developing and 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.

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

Combining these methods delivers extraordinary results, accelerating professional and personal growth beyond levels achieved through conventional coaching and mentoring programs.

The Partnership Program also aims to support economic opportunities within the entrepreneurs’ wider community by helping these entrepreneurs fulfill their potential and achieve long-term business success.

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

Through the Partnership Program, Trestle Group Foundation seeks to provide support for entrepreneurs who have established and grown businesses to a point where they are interested or able to expand, either within their own markets or internationally, however they are limited by challenges including:

Access to networks and resources to effectively develop and grow business:

  • Knowledge of international markets and standards
  • Access to business management “best practices”
  • Strategic planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Required sales and marketing strategies
  • How to best utilize IT
  • Access to strategic sparring partners
  • Legal assistance and support

Entrepreneurs interested in participating in the Partnership Program should posses the following characteristics:

  • Founder, chief executive or director of current business
  • Business has been in operation for more than 2-3 years
  • Business model is proven and scalable
  • Have a dedicated and professional management with relevant experience
  • Have a proven track record and strong financial discipline
  • As business grows, new employment opportunities are created
  • Primary support required for growth is not financial
  • Willingness to share financial and strategic information with Trestle Group Foundation
  • Committed to succeed – meeting established program timelines, goals and objectives
  • Ability to speak English
  • Available to participate via telephone, teleconference and electronic mail
  • Willingness to travel internationally to meet with Trestle Group Foundation supporters
  • Willingness to serve as a Foundation champion and role model for other aspiring entrepreneurs

Trestle Group Foundation uses DealMarket’s MyOffice to process and manage entrepreneur applications. High-potential entrepreneurs have the opportunity to seek funding through the online global private equity platform.

TGF, FLO & UNDP: Connect & Accelerate New Delhi June 18, 2016

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Working in partnership with the UNDP and FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry) Ladies Organization (FLO), TGF will deliver its Connect & Accelerate session for early-stage women entrepreneurs in New Delhi India on June 18, 2016. shutterstock_118035052This custom training provides executive education designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, and based upon the most common challenges facing women entrepreneurs in emerging economies. Learn more: TGF_C&A_New Delhi


TGF & You’ll Connect & Accelerate Poland June 11, 2016

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Working in partnership with the You’ll Poland, TGF will deliver its Connect & Accelerate session for early-stage women entrepreneurs in Warsaw, Poland on June 11, 2016. shutterstock_248952739This custom training provides executive education designed by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs, and based upon the most common challenges facing women entrepreneurs in emerging economies. Learn more: TGF_C&A_Warsaw


Celebrating International Women’s Day: TGF & UNDP India Partner to Accelerate Women Entrepreneurs

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Zurich, 08 March 2016 – Trestle Group Foundation today announced its partnership with UNDP to empower and accelerate Indian women entrepreneurs. The first collaboration will deliver Trestle’s customized Connect & Accelerate session for early-stage entrepreneurs on March 19, 2016 in Bangalore.

“We are proud to partner with UNDP – an organization that has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development – to deliver our Connect & Accelerate workshop,” says Dana Brice Smith, Trestle Group Foundation Chief Executive. “Our Connect & Accelerate workshop is designed by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, and it’s based key challenges women-led businesses face,” he continued. “Our 20:20 Vision is to support 20’000 women entrepreneurs in emerging economies by 2020. Our program goal is to link human capital, networks and resources to build sustainable communities of women entrepreneurs.”

For Connect & Accelerate program details, please visit:

To inquire or apply to participate, please send an email to: [email protected]

About UNDP

UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from democratic governance to poverty eradication, to sustainable energy and environmental management. UNDP’s programmes are aligned with national priorities and are reviewed and adjusted annually.

About Trestle Group Foundation

Built on a new model of nonprofit support, and guided by the belief that entrepreneurship fuels the engine that drives economic opportunity, growth and social progress, Trestle Group Foundation has been working to empower women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies since 2005.



Dana Brice Smith, Trestle Group Foundation:

+41 43 500 17 41

[email protected]


Govindaraj Jeyachandaran, UNDP

+91 9710404100

[email protected]

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

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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.


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UN Women and Trestle Group Foundation have partnered to identify and support high-potential women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies. The collaboration will focus on building the capacity of the entrepreneurs through a blend of coaching, mentoring, knowledge transfer, and customized business training, as well as access to networks, resources, role models and increased business exposure.






Additionally, the partnership seeks to strengthen women entrepreneur networks, including online networks through, and create sustainable pipelines of scalable women-led businesses in target countries or regions.

To learn more about the TGF & UN Women partnership, please visit:

On Twitter:




To learn more about TGF’s ambitious goal to empower & accelerate 20’000 emerging economy women entrepreneurs by 2020, please visit:




TGF Featured in NZZ am Sonntag’s – These ideas lead to the success of Switzerland

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Charlotte Jacquemart 04.01.15

Bessere Entwicklungshilfe Unternehmertum fördern

DSC_0111Diese Idee kann die Welt bei uns und in ärmeren Ländern verändern und findet hoffentlich möglichst viele Nachahmer: Hiesige Management-Nachwuchstalente coachen Startup-Unternehmerinnen in Schwellen- und Entwicklungsländern. “Statt sich in einer Managementschule nur mit einem theoretischen Business-Case zu befassen, können wir eine echte Unternehmerin coachen,” sagt Kristina Danielson, eine der involvierten UBS-Managerinnen. Während sechs Monaten hat sie gemeinsam mit einem eigens dafür zusammengestellten UBS-Team die ägyptische Unternehmerin Vivian Labib Nouer gecoacht. Labib Nouer betreibt in Ägypten eine Firma, die hochwertige, von Hand angefertigte Kunstgegenstände verkauft. Doch die Krise im Lande setzt ihr zu. Die UBS-Nachwuchstalente konzentrieren sich in der auf Zeit angelegten Partnerschaft auf vier Bereiche: Organisationsstrukturen, finanzielle Stabilität, Marke und Marketingstrategie, Präsenz im Internet. Eine riesige Chance sei das für sie gewesen, sagt Labib Nouer: “Ich habe zwar Managementtheorien studiert. Aber erst diese Partnerschaft hat mir gezeigt, wie ich theoretische Konzepte umsetzen kann.” Neu setzt sie stärker auf den Vertriebskanal Internet, mehr Grosshandel und fokussiert auf weniger Produkte, um grössere Volumen zu erreichen.

Auch bei der UBS sind die involvierten Nachwuchskräfte begeistert. “Es ist für uns eine einzigartige Chance. Wir können innerhalb der Bank Kompetenzen in einem Team bündeln und massgeschneiderte Unterstützung anbieten, ” sagt eine junge UBS-Managerin. Damit erreichten sie nicht nur das bestmögliche Resultat für die Unternehmerin, sondern sammelten auch für sich selber viel wertvollere Erfahrungen, als es via gängige Mentorinnenprogramme möglich sei. “Es ist keine Laborsituation, sondern real life.”

Möglich macht die Partnerschaft zwischen der Nachwuchs-Pipeline von Grosskonzernen und Startup-Unternehmerinnen in ärmeren Ländern die Trestle Group Foundation mit Sitz in Zürich. Die Idee des Zusammenbringens von Nachwuchstalenten aus internationalen Konzernen und Unternehmerinnen in Afrika, Südamerika, Asien, dem Nahen Osten und Osteuropa sei 2007 entstanden, sagt Tom Wedgwood, Stiftungspräsident der Trestle Group Foundation. “Wir haben die Idee seither im kleinen Rahmen erprobt, und es hat bestens funktioniert. Frauen als Unternehmerinnen zu fördern, bringt die Wirtschaft ärmerer Länder viel stärker vorwärts als die klassische Entwicklungshilfe.” Die Frauen werden zudem zu wichtigen Vorbildern in ihren Ländern. Neu soll die Idee nun grossflächig angewendet werden: Im Dezember hat die Stiftung in London den offiziellen Startschuss zur 20:20-Initiative gegeben. Bis ins Jahr 2020 sollen 20 000 Startup-Unternehmerinnen in den genannten Weltregionen mit ihren Firmen erfolgreich unterwegs sein. Die Trestle Group Foundation spielt allerdings lediglich Vermittler zwischen Startup-Unternehmerinnen, Managementerfahrung und Kapitalgeber. Aber sie tut dies dank einem breiten Netzwerk sehr effizient.


Anlässlich des Projekt-Startschusses in London war auch Susan Mashibes zugegen. Mashibes ist in Tansania mittlerweile eine Vorzeigeunternehmerin mit Ausstrahlung auf dem ganzen Kontinent. Die ausgebildete Flugmechanikerin und erste Linienpilotin des Landes hat ein Logistikunternehmen für Düsenjets aufgebaut. “Die Fliegerei ist wegen der schlechten Strasseninfrastruktur auf unserem Kontinent von entscheidender Bedeutung für die Wirtschaft.” Vor der Gründung von Via Aviation habe sie nie eine Führungsposition innegehabt, erzählt Mashibes. Wegen ihrer mangelnden Managementerfahrung hatte sie Mühe, Kapital für die Expansion ausserhalb Tansanias zu finden. “Um das zu erreichen, musste ich einen anständigen Geschäftsplan vorlegen. Meine Mentorinnen der Credit Suisse halfen mir dabei, überzeugende Präsentationen zu erstellen. Sie lehrten mich, wie man einen Unternehmenswert berechnet, wozu zum Beispiel eine gute Personalstruktur oder Mitarbeiterhandbücher dienen.”

Die Schweizer Grossbank Credit Suisse arbeitet schon länger mit der Trestle Group Foundation zusammen und hat schon mehrere Unternehmerinnen in Tansania aufgebaut. Die involvierten CS-Managerinnen reden von der perfekten Kombination. “Wir erreichen mit dieser Initiative vieles gleichzeitig. Wir arbeiten mit Kollegen aus anderen Bankbereichen zusammen, können Wissen und Erfahrung einbringen und fordern uns selbst dabei heraus, weil wir mit Business-Situationen konfrontiert werden, die es bei uns nicht gibt,” sagt eine junge CS-Managerin.

Nebst den Schweizer Grossbanken, Gübelin und Swisscontact sind auch Weltkonzerne wie Pepsico, HP, Microsoft oder der indische IT-Riese HCL bereits im Trestle-Boot mit dabei. Bald sollen es noch viel mehr sein. (jac.)

To learn more about TGF’s 20:20 Initiative, Please visit:


Empowering 20’000 Women Entrepreneurs: TGF’s 20:20 Initiative

By | Dana Brice Smith, News

Zurich, Switzerland – 19 August 12014 – We are excited to announce today the launch of Trestle Group Foundation’s 20:20 Initiative and our ambitious goal to empower and accelerate 20’000 women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging economies by 2020.

With the right support, women can be the fastest growing economic force in the world. Successful women entrepreneurs in emerging economies provide more than just economic opportunity and growth, they deliver social impact and change.louisa_susan

How? Linking human capital, networks and resources, our vision is to deliver a combination of our flagship Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Partnership Program for high-potential women entrepreneurs and customized training for early-stage women-led businesses to build sustainable pipelines and communities of women entrepreneurs.

Where? Our focus will be in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Asia/Asia Pacific, Africa & Latin America.

We are pleased to have Thomas and Yumi Wedgwood as the initiative co-chairs. For every 100 CHF donation, donors will receive the Wedgwood-designed, limited edition Oranges gift mug representing one of the 20’000 women supported. The hand-made mugs are specially produced in Stoke on Trent, United Kingdom.triumph_portrait

We encourage you to learn about the 20:20 Initiative, our programs, and why individuals and leading organizations partner with the Foundation to support women-led businesses in developing and emerging economies.