(Really) Last Minute Gift Ideas for those Empowered Women & Girls in Your Life

December 23, 2009

If you leave holiday shopping until the last minute (like I do), I think I have a solution for you…

Here are 5 great gifts for women clients, family, or friends who love the concept of empowering women and girls across the globe. (ps – these are also great gifts for men who are interested in empowering women!).  You can buy these gifts online right now, and they are “delivered” immediately as donations to women charities, or registrations for upcoming women’s events.

3 Organizations dedicated to Empowering Women & Girls (just go online and donate in her name, or on behalf of a client/client list):
http://www.womenforwomen.org – helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives
http://www.kiva.org – loans that change lives
http://www.girleffect.org – created by the Nike Foundation to educate & empower women and girls in developing countries

2 Networking Events for Professional Women (go online and pay/register for an upcoming event…assuming you know she’ll be available to attend that day):
http://www.womenofinfluence.ca – professional women luncheon speaker series; events held in 9 major cities in Canada
http://www.wxnetwork.com – professional women luncheon/breakfast speaker series; events held in 7 major cities in Canada

I get so excited when I think of how meaningful these gifts are, and what an amazing message of support they send to the women in your life!

Happy Shopping and Happy Holidays!!

PS: if you are donating on behalf of clients, remember to send an email to let them know that in lieu of gifts/cards, you are donating to (XYZ) charity.  Be sure to include the link to the organization, so they can check it out.


What We Can Learn from Iranian Women About Business Opportunity

May 6, 2009

There’s a new business in Tehran, and it came about in a way I love….by looking at how women are not being served by current businesses and thinking “what business can I build to fill that need?”

The story: Iranian women are typically segregated from men in public. On buses women ride in the back of the bus, and men ride in the front. But when it comes to taxis, for some reason, women and men all squish into taxis together and share rides. According to Iranian women interviewed, this leads to situations where women are “not comfortable” (to say the least) from some mens’ behaviours in those closed situations. And this is where someone saw a lucrative business opportunity and grabbed it.

Enter Women’s Taxi Company in Tehran. All the drivers are women, and they only pick up women passengers. It has 40,000 registered regular customers who are willing to pay more to be driven by a woman. They started with 10 cars, now have 700, and plan to expand to 2,000 cars just in Tehran alone. According to the managing director, the company is growing quickly enough that it is planning its expansion across Iran, and even into other Gulf countries.

Now You: Look at the world with new eyes. Start looking for problems that women face every day. Then think “how can I make money by solving that problem?”. As a woman, what drives you nuts about how you’re served by businesses today? If you’re a man, pose that question to your wife, daughter, or sister. Then think about what business could you build that would solve that problem?