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Danfoss partners with the UNDP to foster women entrepreneurs in China


An initiative of empowerment and employment oriented business incubation in Beijing by Danfoss and UNDP is promoting women entrepreneurs in China.

China is generally on target with regard to reaching the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. However the issues of equity and regional balance need to be addressed. There are in particular three goals where greater attention is required, one of these being gender equality and empowerment of women.

Achieving the MDGs will contribute to more sustained growth and long-term development — also for the private sector growth. UNDP is convinced that continued partnership development with the private sector will enhance its effectiveness in dealing with social and economic development in China.

UNDP China has for quite some time focused on the role of entrepreneurs. It has recently completed a pilot initiative in the Tianjin province on the re-employment and venture creation for laid-off women workers. By creating business incubators the project promoted prospective women micro-enterprise development.

The incubation model reflects international best practice adapted to Chinese conditions. Since its establishment in October 2000, the project has incubated 50 women-owned businesses employing some 2,744 persons (265 directly employed in the incubator), 79.7% of them women. In the field of Chinese incubators, it has demonstrated the relevance and effectiveness of a new model of empowerment- and employment- oriented business incubation.

Therefore a new initiative for women’s empowerment in Beijing has now been designed and it involves the following partners: Danfoss, UNDP China, CICETE, All China Women’s Federation, and Junior Achievement International, China. The key objectives of this initiative are:

1. To facilitate the upgrading of the entrepreneurial skills of women and accommodate prospective women micro-enterprise development.
2. To build capacity within the implementing agency to design and deliver programs to market needs.
3. To create a website, aimed at women entrepreneurs, providing information and national resources for starting small businesses in China
4. To provide gender sensitive policy recommendations related to employment and economic development policies

The incubator initiative is in full accordance with the reasoning and recommendations from the Commission on the Private Sector and Development, which came out with its report, “Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor” in April 2004.