Enhancing and sustaining the growth of woman-owned enterprises through the implementation of business and technology best
practices is the foundation of the Business Development program. As more developing nations turn to free-market systems to further economic
growth, Women in Progress provides the business support and information technology tools needed to assist well-prepared women entrepreneurs
to take advantage of an expanding global marketplace.
Women business owners that are selected to participate in the Business Development Program are assigned a dedicated consulting team, which
typically consists of full-time staff members of Women in Progress, and foreign and local volunteers with expertise in business and/or technology.
Believing that local women entrepreneurs already recognize what is required to expand their businesses, the activities of the project team will be driven
and owned by the local women.
All projects are customized to the specific needs of each woman-owned business. The following activities are generally performed
through the Business Development program:
To ensure a project has met the pre-defined objectives, volunteers typically remain in contact with the client businesses for at least
six months after their departure. Women in Progress staff play a critical role as they provide continuity among transitioning volunteers, ongoing
support for the clients, and ensure achievement of the long-term project objectives.
- Develop a realistic business plan, which includes measurable objectives, required tasks and estimated timeline for implementation
- Establish an efficient process for tracking finances
- Provide access to technology needed to improve productivity (i.e. computerized versus manual accounting, budgeting, more efficient means for marketing and promotion, communicating with clients/vendors via email, etc.)
- Research and test the viability of expanding to new markets
- Align businesses in the same or complimentary markets to enhance their capacity and allow them to access new and larger markets that would be unobtainable individually
- Assist in obtaining affordable loans required for business expansion