KUALA LUMPUR, 4 May 2016– Great Women Malaysia (GWM) has kicked off Great Women Connect Series, a platform that provides great opportunities for women-in-business globally to share ideas and experiences in trading. It is aimed to facilitate global partnerships, establishing networks and realizing potentials, especially for those with intentions and readiness to go outside Malaysia.
About 50 local women entrepreneurs including delegates from Sharjah Business Women Council of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were present at a luncheon here yesterday.
Secretary General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance Tan Sri Dr. Mohd. Irwan Serigar Abdullah, and some of the industry key players were also present.
Dr. Mohd. Irwan said, the Great Women Connect Series is a good platform where entrepreneurs from one country can help to solve problems faced by their counterparts in another country before they prosper in their related businesses.
“In Malaysia there is the term “Corporate Entrepreneur Responsibilities” (CER) where established companies help the smaller entrepreneurs who are facing problems in their businesses,” he said in his speech
According to Dr. Mohd. Irwan, the government has allocated RM10 million for CER to help the small and problematic companies to grow.
Nada Al Lawati, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seed Group International, in her speech said: “Before any investment made in a country (Malaysia) we have to establish a network and link with the grass root companies and this is the right way it should be done (referring to Great Women Connect Series).
The Women Connect Series seeks to develop the women’s professional sector locally, regionally and globally in three main areas of economic, professional and social life. It aims to do this through dialogues with local and global initiatives such as Sharjah Business Women Council and the series will also mobilize international diplomatic support for the advancement of women in society.
Delegates from Sharjah Business Women Council of the UAE who are in Malaysia for a visit include some entourages namely Nada Al Lawati, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seed Group International, Huda Al Lawati, Senior Private Equity Professional, most recently Chief Investment Officer for the Abraaj Group in MENA, Sally Denton from Head of Irthi, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council (part of NAMA), Dr. Amal Al Ali, founder of CARDIFF Management Consulting & Training, and Assistant Professor in Sharjah University,Ayesha Jasem, Membership and Services Senior Executive of Sharjah Business Women Council, and Lina Mohammed Hamdan, Senior Manager – Strategy of Sharjah Business Women Council.
The GWM is part of a larger initiative of the ASEAN Great Women, where Great Women initiatives from all participating ASEAN countries collaborate to leverage on resources, cultural and ethnic materials, designs, skills and talents, to develop products that are globally commercial.
According to Nadira Yusoff of Great Women Malaysia, empowering women and fully engaging them in the business and economic sectors has become a key global development priority, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where significant gender gap in economic participation persist.
“Promoting opportunities for both women and men makes good economic sense. It is important that both men and women are able to fully contribute to national and regional economic growth and trade. And this is the reason why we hold today’s interactive session.”
She added, women’s SMEs in Malaysia have experienced strong annual growth albeit a relatively low initial level of women’s participation in SMEs. While cultural norms continue to limit women’s role in business, the general business environment in Malaysia is comparatively favorable. Women-in-business needs support from the government as well as from initiatives like us.