November 27, 2012Shawn A. Covell
Erin Radzi is a mother who supplements her family’s income by baking cakes and cookies. After Erin gave birth to her daughter, she had difficulty going back to work and decided to start a business from home. She thought she might supplement her family’s income by baking cakes and cookies, but she couldn’t afford a course on how to decorate wedding cakes. So she taught herself how to do it through online videos. Erin also sought additional training from the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training, and is now participating in the Women in Business Mentoring Program.
The program provides Erin with a 3G-enabled tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ processor and free Internet connectivity from Maxis Berhad, the local 3G operator, which she uses to access information and resources, connect with her dedicated mentor who provides invaluable advice on growing her business, and engage with a global community of like-minded business professionals.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report notes a strong correlation between gender equality and a country’s prosperity and economic competitiveness. This is where the Women in Business Mentoring Program comes in. The program is a collaboration between Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach™ initiative, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training and Maxis Berhad with the goal of enhancing women’s skills and knowledge in business and information and communication technology, empowering them to obtain a better quality of life.
I recently visited Malaysia to celebrate the program’s success and was honored to meet Erin and many other women entrepreneurs whose businesses are driving critical economic growth in Malaysia. To date, 80 percent of participating entrepreneurs have reported a positive impact on their businesses and 90 percent have reported improved confidence and increased knowledge of technology.
The program also draws in successful businesswomen like Guadalupe Petrone, a human resources manager for Qualcomm who volunteers as a mentor. Qualcomm’s passion has always been to expand the possibilities of mobile technology. By designing programs to accelerate women’s ownership of mobile phones and provide life-changing services for women in the developing world, Wireless Reach is working to help stimulate the economic ecosystem and close the mobile phone gender gap.
For more information on Wireless Reach, please visit our website.
To apply to be a mentor for the Mentoring Women in Business Program, please visit: http://www.cbfwmentoring.org/.
GovernmentWireless Reach40November 27, 2012