Whenever I get the opportunity to speak publicly I often ask those in the audience to raise their hand if they have created economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Every time I ask this of an audience, less than 2 percent of the hands go up.

Does this surprise you? It should!

However, the current data reflects the audience’s answer. Less than 2 percent of women entrepreneurs are getting access to corporate contracts, and less than 2 percent of women entrepreneurs are getting access to capital investment.

That means 98 percent of women entrepreneurs don’t have access to the contracts and investors needed to grow their companies, and in turn our economy.

New analysis from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has found that if women entrepreneurs received funding on par with their male colleagues, some estimates indicate that the global economy could experience a 3-6 percent increase, boosting the global GDP by up to $5 trillion.
That means we can create economic prosperity and stability by giving equal access to women entrepreneurs – which is the goal of Women in Cloud’s new 21 Days of Action campaign.

On March 6th, during the lead up to International Women’s Day, Women in Cloud’s 21 Days of Action campaign will launch with the goal of creating $1 billion in economic access for women-led technology companies.

Running for 21 Days, from March 6-26, the economic equity-focused initiative aims to improve access to procurement vehicles for women in the technology sector through collaborative action with public officer holders, women tech entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship organizations and accelerators in Canada and the U.S.

The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, founded on the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ calls for transformative changes, collaborative approaches, and innovative solutions to overcome the structural barriers to sustainable development. Innovation and technology provide unprecedented opportunities to reach those who are the most likely to be left behind.

At Women in Cloud, our industry wide collaboration ensures that future innovations take a gender responsive approach to economic access and procurement, and promote women as innovators with the shared goal of achieving fair and equitable economic opportunities for all.

If you believe that we need to drive gender equality for women entrepreneurs in our community I invite you to do three actions to help unlock gender parity.

  • Number one become an advisor; unlock your Rolodex and help women entrepreneurs get access to customers and investors, and  go out of your way to see economic development for them.
  • Number two, influence your company to invite women to do business with you. If you’re a global leader or a corporate leader, I ask you to take a pledge to create equal access for women entrepreneurs in your corporate contracts.
  • And number three, partner with your local policy makers to remove any barriers for women entrepreneurs to achieve economic success.

If we all take collective action to serve, influence and partner with women entrepreneurs, we can create economic access that can fuel billion dollar opportunities, advancing the UN’s goals by 2030.

Women in Cloud, a community-led economic development initiative, has a massive mission: to take action with global leaders, corporations and policy makers to help women entrepreneurs create $1 billion in economic access and opportunity by 2030.

Author Chaitra Vedullapalli, President and Co-Founder of Women in Cloud,  is recognized as an Influential Business Leader with a passion to enable digital equity and access to achieve economic prosperity in our communities. She is also the co-founder and CMO of Meylah, sits on many boards and drives global conversations with the United Nations and top corporations throughout the U.S.