Evaluating Our Business Women Service

Published: November 2014
Together with the ExxonMobil Foundation we have published a report, Evaluating Business Women, a Mobile Value Added Service for Women Entrepreneurs.  The Business Women service was designed through a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation and Nokia to deliver business training specifically tailored for women entrepreneurs via SMS. Since it first launched in 2012, the service has reached over 100,000 women in Nigeria, Indonesia and Tanzania.

Mobile Retail Channels Study

Published: November 2011
The mobile industry is fast-paced and diverse, driven largely by innovation and the huge increases in consumer demand that have occurred in recent years. Women in particular stand to gain a great deal from selling mobile products and services, as setting up a mobile phone business presents fewer barriers than many other income-generating activities that exist in an emerging market. However, in order for women to flourish within the mobile industry, they must be supported by the companies and network operators that serve the markets in which these women live. The mobile sector has a significant opportunity to promote positive socio-economic change by fostering the capability and confidence of women entrepreneurs working in their retail chains and by recognizing and providing solutions to overcoming traditional barriers to finance that many women face.

Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity

Published: July 2012
The Cherie Blair Foundation and GSMA Development Fund published a ground-breaking report in February 2010, quantifying the gender gap in mobile technology across developing countries – Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity. The report shows that, by extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be advanced, but 300 million women are missing out on the mobile revolution. This translates to a $13bn revenue opportunity for mobile operators.

Mobile Services for Women Entrepreneurs

Published: April 2012
The exponentially increasing rate of mobile penetration in developing and emerging economies offers many opportunities for women entrepreneurs to grow and expand their enterprises through the use of technology. However, women entrepreneurs also face specific challenges to business growth, such as limited access to adequate marketing channels and insufficient training opportunities. Historically, few mobile solutions have had the scale necessary to empower large numbers of women, and the majority of services for business use are generally not tailored to address the precise regional and local barriers that women face.

India Connectivity Report

Published: February 2012
Research indicates that there is a significant gender gap in access to mobile technology in South Asia, where a man is 37% more likely to have access to a mobile phone than a woman. Closing this gender gap could be nothing short of life-changing, enabling women to access vital business and financing opportunities that can, in turn, enhance their incomes and livelihoods.


Allison Kahn, Mentoring Programme Director at the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, spoke to Chrissy B for a special International Women’s Day episode of the Chrissy B show. They discussed the value of mentoring women entrepreneurs in emerging markets and the ‘magic of matching’ a mentee and mentor. Watch Allison’s interview, which starts around 27:35.

Digital access can be a powerful catalyst for financial inclusion. Technology is spreading quickly but it is not spreading equally. For example, women in emerging economies are 14% less likely than men to own a mobile phone, and globally, 200 million fewer women than men are online. Cherie talks about how this inequality affects women’s lives and global economies.

At this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Sevi Simavi, CEO of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and Jill Huntley, Managing Director—Corporate Citizenship at Accenture, talk about how we are working together to empower women in Rwanda and how technology can help women gain access to banking, loans —and ultimately, financial independence.

Trust Women 2015: Plenary – Fostering Women Leaders

At the 2015 Trust Women conference in London, Cherie spoke on a panel about fostering women leaders and tackling gender inequality in the economy. She was joined by Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation, Jane Moran, Global Chief Information Officer of Unilever, and Isha Johansen, President of the Sierra Leonean Football Association.

Video courtesy of the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Narrowing the Gender Gap in the Economy

While the gender gap has been significantly narrowed in the areas of health and education, it is still far too wide in areas such as economic and political participation. In this video interview, Cherie Blair tells Devex that we’re not anywhere near where we should be.

What Would You Do to Make the World Better for Women and Girls? 

Better opportunities for women will lead to greater economic development and improved global security. Efforts to realize this still untapped potential are advancing in projects that range from educating girls and breaking the cycle of poverty to preventing gender-based violence and eliminating health-care disparities. Cherie joined a distinguished panel discussion as part of the Milken Institute’s Global Conference 2015 to explore the numerous ways we can create a better world for women and girls and, in the process, build a better world for all.

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