As communities and countries increasingly encourage entrepreneurs who create jobs, women can be a catalyst for large-scale economic growth--not just in countries where the basic rights of women are a struggle, but in developed economies as well. Studies have showed that women have lower levels of involvement in high-growth entrepreneurship than men and research suggests that accelerating female entrepreneurship could have the same positive effect that the entry of women into the labor force had during the 20th century. GEW Women celebrates female entrepreneurs and others in the space while offering opportunities to expand their networks, identify resources and share knowledge with women around the world. Topics covered include: Programs around the world fostering female entrepreneurs Efforts to increase participation of young women in STEM education fields Female investors Women in leadership Women in tech Research around female owned businesses Featured Projects from GEW 2015 Learn more about how partner organizations celebrated WOMEN in entrepreneurship during the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Week. Vital Voices VV Grow Fellowship. The VV GROW Fellowship is a highly competitive one-year accelerator program for women owners of small and medium businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. The program includes customized business skills training, technical assistance, leadership development, and access to networks to grow their businesses and increase their leadership impact. Through global and regional online and in-person trainings, fellows focus on strategy and long-term business value paired with action-oriented plans. They amplify their role as leaders in their businesses and their communities to create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth and produce wider social benefits. Vital Voices seeks applications from women business owners from Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, who: Own a business that has been in operation for at least 3 years, Employ at least 3 full time staff, and Generate at least USD $40,000 in annual sales SBA teamed up with Microsoft to launch the 2016 InnovateHER Business Challenge, a USA prize competition to find the most innovative products and services that help impact women and working families. InnovateHER competitions are running locally now through December 2, 2015, and the Top 10 finalists will compete for $70,000 in prize money in Washington, DC on March 17, 2016. . Building off the success of the first InnovateHER Women’s Business Challenge earlier this year, SBA expanded this initiative and has more than doubled the number of local competitions designed to identify products and services that have measurable impacts on the lives of women and families, have potential for commercialization, and fill a need in the marketplace. Given that only around three percent of venture capitalists are women, but women make up over 80 percent of U.S. purchasing power, this expanded Challenge provides a platform for innovations that are often overlooked. As part of this expansion, Microsoft will more than double the prizes awarded during the final round in March. Springboard is a highly-vetted expert network of innovators, investors and influencers who are dedicated to building high-growth technology-oriented companies led by women. Our programs and initiatives are how we source, qualify, advise, showcase and support the most promising businesses seeking capital or partnerships for product development and expansion. Springboard Enterprises launches two accelerator programs this week. NY Fashion Tech Lab The 2016 New York Fashion Tech Lab, is a collaborative effort between major fashion retailers and innovators focused on enabling iteration, validation, and acceleration of technologies that advance the industry. Applications are now being accepted through December 14th from companies with solutions covering the broad spectrum of fashion tech, ranging from omni-channel solutions, data standardization, optimization and visualization, customer engagement, security, geo-location, RFID, iBeacon, micro-manufacturing, and wearables to 3D printing, (full list available on nyftlab.com) Health Innovation Hub 2016 Springboard’s Health Innovation Hub is a year-long program for women-led healthcare and life science companies seeking seed and growth funding to fuel expansion and product development. Companies selected for one of the program’s two tracks – Pharma and Health IT/Devices – will be matched with a team of relevant, targeted advisors and participate in several in-person and virtual workshops and presentation sessions throughout the year that provide exposure to influencers, active investors, and potential strategic partners. Wamda is a platform of programs and networks that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across MENA. Our core competencies are in community development, media, research, and advisory services. Each of which is a core pillar to supporting entrepreneurship in the region. Collectively, these programs make Wamda into the leading grassroots content, community and knowledge platform for entrepreneurs and their supporting ecosystem. Learn more about women entrepreneurs in the Middle East through Wamda's blog series. Womens Venture Xchange Africa Launched at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in July, the Xchange is a mentorship and exchange program for high-growth women entrepreneurs based in Africa. The pilot program will give four entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend two to four weeks in Nairobi, Kenya beginning with Global Entrepreneurship Week November 16, 2015. The Xchange is designed to help established women-owned businesses expand beyond the borders of their own countries. These entrepreneurs will gain access to new regional markets, research, and insights into best practices. The program is being run in partnership with the Case Foundation, the Mara Foundation, and the U.S. Department of State. If successful, this East African pilot initiative will scale up across the African continent. IADB WeXchange Forum in Monterray, Mexico The Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) is holding its 2015 WeXchange Forum in Monterrey, Mexico (November 19-20). This is the third edition of Latin-America’s main platform to exchange and connect with female entrepreneurship in the region. GEW Germany GEW Germany (Gründerwoche Deutschland) is celebrating women founders and entrepreneurs with a range of almost fifty events across the nation this week, including today’s “Aktionstag”, bringing together 180 successful and experienced women entrepreneurs recently honored by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy as best practice female entrepreneurs.