|Women students talk with their teacher at Kabul's University in Afghanistan|
Goldman Sachs Group, the international investment banking company, has launched a new program to provide ten thousand poor women with business education. The program, called 10,000 Women, will support partnerships between American and European universities and business schools in mostly developing countries. Partners will work together to establish or expand education programs lasting from five weeks to six months. Several partnerships may also offer full college degrees in business.
The 10,000 Women program hopes to expand into the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and throughout Africa. Sixteen schools have agreed to take part in the program so far. They include Columbia, Harvard and Stanford Universities in the United States. Other schools are in India, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania.
The Pan-African University in Lagos, Nigeria is also a partner. Peter Bamkoleh heads that university's Enterprise Development Services. He says about fifty women will receive training at the school every year. The women will take classes several times a week, then use what they have learned.
Dina Powell is the managing director of Goldman Sachs. She says that 10,000 Women is not a “one size fits all” program. Each university decides what to teach to fulfill local needs. At the American University of Afghanistan, for example, women will study the general ideas of business management. But at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, the partner school will offer beginning and higher-level business classes to the first five hundred women. Such classes may include financial record-keeping, market research and advertising. Women also could learn how to write a business plan, do business over the Internet or gain investors.
Goldman Sachs plans to give one hundred million dollars to the 10,000 Women program over the next five years. It will also urge its employees to donate their time and knowledge in the classroom.
The program is based on a Goldman Sachs research report called "Women Hold Up Half the Sky." The research shows the powerful effects that working women have on their nations' economies and societies.
And that’s the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our reports at our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com.