Visa Launches ‘She’s Next’ Campaign to Empower Female Entrepreneurs
In an effort to help female entrepreneurs, Visa is launching the She’s Next campaign. The program will feature a series of interactive workshops over the course of the year, tailored to each community.
She’s Next was created in collaboration with the Female Founder Collective. This group has more than 3,000 members, and provides a platform for female business owners to network and gain feedback from their peers.
Suzan Kereere, SVP Head of Merchant Sales and Acquiring for Visa, said in an interview that the biggest motivating factors for female business owners is financial independence, flexibility, and the ability to do meaningful work. In their research, Visa discovered that 73% of female entrepreneurs found it difficult to receive funding for their businesses. As a result, 61% of women-owned small businesses are self-funded.
Kereere said one of the key focuses of She’s Next is giving women resources to “do more.” Women entrepreneurs want to pursue their passions in a way that makes a difference in the world. The She’s Next initiative involves many tools to allow them to do just that.
Visa says in the last four years, more than 163 million small businesses were launched by women. Women now make up 50% of small business owners.
A separate study from Citigroup showed women within their company are paid an average of 29% less than men. This is not due to pay inequality, but rather a lack of female representation in the upper-levels of the company. Much like Visa, Citigroup says they want to see an increase of women in senior positions in the years to come.