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On 12 January, 2017, Latvian Direct Selling Association and the publishing house Dienas Bizness in collaboration with Citadele bank and the Latvian Association of Women Entrepreneurs “Līdere” organized a conference for women entrepreneurs “Women’s Entrepreneurship – Challenges and Opportunities”. Within the conference that brought together more than 200 participants, their stories and professional experience shared successful local and foreign women entrepreneurs. Therefore while the conference have been presented the results of the latest Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report that reveals the main business performance trends of both genders globally.

The main goal of the conference for women entrepreneurs was to discuss the prevailing business environment in Latvia with all of its obstacles and opportunities offered, as well as the development of active interest and initiative on the part of women for running their own business in the local market. Latest statistics on men and women entrepreneurs performance globally shows that over 126 million women are starting or running businesses worldwide. Over 224 million women are impacting global economy as well as over 112 million women entrepreneurs employ one or more people. “The practice of the largest multinational Direct Selling companies shows that women bring diversity to the business environment – gender balanced boards are more successful than mono cultural ones. Woman starting up in business provide more immediate contribution to economy. Furthermore many academic researches revealed that in fact women are better at building long-term relationships than men”,-explains Tamuna Gabilaia, General Director of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA)

Financial calculations show that narrowing the gender gap in employment could increase global income per person by 20% by 2030 year. Besides female entrepreneurs invest 90% of their earnings back into their family and community. Therefore no doubts that women provide a huge contribution to the world economic development, but they are also particularly effective in bringing wealth to the local ecosystem – society and environment. “Females put themselves into the frames of a particular roles with certain role expectations. For example putting herself in a mother’s role instead of role of an entrepreneur imposes unnecessary barriers for woman to succeed in business being a mom. But nothing prevents women to be both just as well”,-assures LaVonn Schlegel, Executive Director of the Kelly School of Business Institute for International Business.

Considering Latvia, the results of the latest Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report reveals that during the last 4 years there has been more than 4% increase in the number of women entrepreneurs reaching 40% of total local entrepreneurs by 2015 year. Comparing to other countries with fast growing economy, for example Denmark, where 95% respondents displays positive attitude towards starting their own businesses, in Latvia this numeral reaches 87%. “Three whales on which stands any entrepreneurship are motivation, skills and opportunities. Our research results show that largest motivation for females in Latvia to start running their own business is independence (50%), self-fulfillment (44%) and second income (39%). 40% Latvians claims that they possess the necessary skills and resources for starting a business, therefore 54% of Latvians says that they would feel comfortable to search for and acquire customers as a self-employed person. So as we can see, there is no problem with motivation, skills and education of prospective and actual entrepreneurs, the only step should be made is finding and using the opportunities that business environment has to offer”,-says Anders Paalzow, the Rector of Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.