Dreambuilder: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

Learn How to Start Your Own Business

dreambuilder Looking to start your own business? You’ve come to the right place. DreamBuilder is a free online learning program designed for women who aspire to be entrepreneurs. The 13-course program will take you through the steps you need to start your business. Available in both English and Spanish, most courses take one to two hours to complete. By the end, you’ll have a complete business plan ready to go.

 

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs are driving progress for women in the global economy, with the number of women-owned enterprises growing at a faster pace than those owned by men. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 224 million women across 67 World Bank economies are new entrepreneurs or are running established businesses.

Women entrepreneurs, including both women business-owners and business leaders, should have equal access to the skills, support, and resources necessary to launch, scale, and successfully operate their own businesses. The Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State is dedicated to supporting and empowering women entrepreneurs – both aspiring and established – through trainings, online education, networking opportunities, and mentorship activities around the world.

Empowering Women through Online Education

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Information Programs and Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Management, the Office of Global Women’s Issues has made DreamBuilder, a free online learning program designed for aspiring women entrepreneurs, available at American Spaces around the world. Currently available in English and Spanish, DreamBuilder includes 13 courses that together create a step-by-step framework for starting a business. Most courses take one to two hours to complete. At the end of the program, students have a completed business plan.

Other Global Initiatives

Support for Artisans: Alliance for Artisan Enterprise (AAE)

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, founded in November 2012, and hosted by the Aspen Institute, is a collaborative effort of nearly 50 organizations, corporations, and individuals who are working together to promote the full potential of the artisan sector. The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise works to support the power and potential of artisan enterprises to developing economies, communities, and women entrepreneurs all over the world.

Global Entrepreneurship Summit

The United States has made significant strides in supporting entrepreneurship around the world by developing innovative ecosystems; advocating for stronger business climates through rule of law and transparent business conduct; catalyzing capital; building networks of innovators; promoting entrepreneurship for women, youth, and marginalized communities; and partnering with the private sector to expand impact.

Access to Finance: Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund

In February 2016, Kiva.org and the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State (S/GWI) launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund (“the Fund”), a matching loan fund that delivers direct access to capital to women across 83 countries. Kiva is currently seeking contributions to capitalize the Fund to empower women entrepreneurs globally by increasing their access to finance. The Fund will help to provide access to capital for one million women entrepreneurs by 2021.

Other Helpful Resources

In addition to DreamBuilder, there are a number of additional resources available to support aspiring women entrepreneurs. Here are a couple to help get you started.

Smithsonian Entrepreneur Incubator

SBA Learning Center

Click on the links below for more information on a sampling of programs on women’s entrepreneurship supported by the U.S. Department of State.

Western Hemisphere

Young Leaders in the Americas Initiative (YLAI)

The YLAI Network is a community of young entrepreneurs and changemakers from Latin America and the Caribbean who are committed fostering economic development and prosperity, security, human rights and good governance in the hemisphere. Join the network and gain access to digital resources, training and networking opportunities, and the chance to connect with senior leaders in business and government as well as other young leaders.

Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas)

The WEAmericas initiative aims to increase women’s economic participation and address the key barriers women confront when starting and growing small and medium sized businesses. The initiative also includes an annual exchange program which allows the participants to explore a variety of mentorship, job shadowing, education, and skills development programs.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Resources in APEC (WE-APEC)

The WE-APEC Directory is a collection of service providers that support women’s entrepreneurship across the APEC region. Each service provider is categorized by type – business networks, private sector initiatives and/or government services – as by five priority areas: access to finance; access to markets; skills, capacity building and health; leadership, voice and agency; and innovation and technology. Use the search to find a service provider near you, or filter by type, area or economy.

Africa

Fellowship for Young African Leaders (YALI)

The YALI Network provides its 300,000+ members with opportunities to connect with other leaders in their community and to learn from experts in their field. Network members have access to unique resources such as online training courses and special events in their area.

African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)

AWEP is an outreach, education, and engagement initiative that targets African women entrepreneurs to promote business growth, increase trade both regionally and to U.S. markets through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), create better business environments, and empower African women entrepreneurs to become voices of change in their communities . Launched in July 2010, the initiative identifies and builds networks of women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa poised to transform their societies by owning, running, and operating small and medium businesses, and by becoming voices for social advocacy in their communities.

Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE)

WECREATE centers are physical entrepreneurial community centers in safe and centralized locations for women to gain access to the essential resources required for starting or growing businesses. The centers give women access to tailored education, trained mentors, and additional tools and resources to overcome business challenges.

South and Central Asia

Women’s Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE)

WECREATE centers are physical entrepreneurial community centers in safe and centralized locations for women to gain access to the essential resources required for starting or growing businesses. The centers give women access to tailored education, trained mentors, and additional tools and resources to overcome business challenges.

American University of Afghanistan’s International Center for Afghan Women’s Economic Development

Near East

Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Center

The WES program empowers women-led organizations in Tunisia to operate WES centers as social enterprises. Through these centers, aspiring and established women entrepreneurs gain new skills and networks, launch and expand businesses, and develop as innovative leaders in their communities.

East Asia and the Pacific

Women’s Entrepreneurship Resources in APEC

The WE-APEC Directory is a collection of service providers that support women’s entrepreneurship across the APEC region. Each service provider is categorized by type – business networks, private sector initiatives and/or government services – as by five priority areas: access to finance; access to markets; skills, capacity building and health; leadership, voice and agency; and innovation and technology. Use the search to find a service provider near you, or filter by type, area or economy.

@America Center in Indonesia

@america is the U.S. Embassy’s American cultural center located in Jakarta, Indonesia. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, @america hosts events that are free and open to the public on topics ranging from education, the environment, music and the arts, science and technology, and entrepreneurship.