Women Entrepreneurs Power Prosperity

By Giving List Women   |   May 20, 2024
Latoya Rigby, owner of Inspired Beauty Salon, Guyana, displays her certificates from the three Cherie Blair Foundation for Women training programs she participated in.

In a small community in Georgetown, Guyana, locals flocked to Radhika Basdeo’s family farm to get their fresh produce. Then COVID hit. And like many other family-run small businesses, the pandemic nearly wiped them out. Vendors and locals stopped coming to buy produce. Workers stopped coming to harvest the crops. People began to steal from their fields. The family quickly realized they must use whatever limited resources they could find to survive.

Basdeo found those resources and turned them into products and started her own local packaged food business. With the help of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s business skills training, she turned her business into a thriving food brand and became a successful entrepreneur.

A Powerful Tool for Change

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is a U.K.-based nonprofit organization founded in 2008 by Cherie Blair CBE, KC, leading barrister and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The Foundation is a beacon of empowerment, innovation, and collaboration in the world of women’s entrepreneurship. It is a dynamic force that uses a combined approach of training, mentoring programs and advocacy to support women’s entrepreneurship by helping them establish and grow successful micro, small, and medium businesses in low- and middle-income countries.

“If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that women entrepreneurs are a powerful tool for change. When women are supported to thrive, they create a better world for all of us. Their businesses fuel economies and provide vital services in their communities and beyond,” Blair says.

Among the Foundation’s women-centered programs are: HerVenture, an award-winning business skills microlearning app, and Road to Finance, a training program that builds financial literacy, skills, and confidence to help women secure financing. 

The Foundation also sets itself apart through its pioneering ability to convene global networks of private and public sector partners, from USAID to PayPal, as well as individual supporters and allies, to amplify its impact through awareness-raising, funding, and support.

The Enormous Loss of Opportunity

The statistics tell the story of why the Foundation and its support are so desperately needed. Globally, women-led startups receive less than three percent of venture capital funding, and 2.4 billion women of working age do not have the same economic opportunities and legal rights as men.

As Blair says, we cannot keep ignoring the inequalities that hold women back from running businesses. We need to commit to bringing our children up to know that a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be, and that includes at the helm of a business.

To date, the Foundation’s programs have already supported 250,000 women in more than 100 countries. 

A Bold Commitment to Women’s Futures

The continued impact of the Foundation shows that its innovative model works. For every Radhika Basdeo, there are thousands more whose potential stands to be unleashed through the Foundation’s work.

At the Clinton Global Initiative 2023 Meeting in New York, Blair announced the Foundation’s bold commitment to action: to support one million women entrepreneurs by 2030. Join the Foundation in making this commitment a reality.


Cherie Blair Foundation for Women

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Head of Philanthropy: Mary Connolly


Our mission is to empower women in low and middle income countries to start, sustain and grow successful businesses, and to build fair and inclusive business environments.

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