I firmly believe that women possess a wonderful ability to get things done, which is why the theme of this year's International Women's Day - 'Make It Happen' - feels so fitting. I set up my Foundation for Women in 2008, with a focus on empowering women in developing and emerging economies to create and grow their own businesses. I settled on this particular issue because I believe that economic security unlocks huge opportunities for women, enabling them to make positive choices over their own lives and the lives of their children.
To care for her mind, body, and spirit, she keeps a gratitude journal, meditates, exercises (including her first sprint triathlon in 2014), and "eats healthy." She does this, not from a selfish perspective, but from a responsibility perspective - she says this is what she is responsible for in her life.
It's been a while since my last blog post and a lot has changed over the last few months. My previous posts were all about being a graduate and how I was coping with the shock of the real world. Well, I'm still coping with the shock of the real world but as it's 2015 and indeed a good six months since I graduated, I think I must officially call myself a grown up...
The Successful Woman Entrepreneurs Give Back article series focuses on women who have mastered the art of creating and maintaining a business that sustains and enriches every aspect of their lives. The fourth pillar of Arianna Huffington's Third Metric - Giving - figures prominently in their lives and is supported by their multi-million dollar businesses
It's the classic entrepreneur's dilemma: the bank has called in its loan, and you have two weeks to find a sizeable sum of money. What do you do? If you're Rebecca Harding, you take the dog for a walk. The irony of where she ended up that day -- at Beachy Head, a famous spot for suicides -- was not lost on her.
'I want to continue the conversation about women and work, success, and happiness. I want to create solutions and cultivate a joyous, supportive, and energizing community. I want to make as much of a positive difference in the lives of other women as possible during my own precious time on this planet...'
Bernadette confesses that she sometimes feels swallowed up by all of the responsibility of her business and the rest of her life. She says she can become so exhausted that she can't sleep, and yet when the next day comes and presents its new challenges, she looks forward to it - each day is different, exciting, and fun!
Falling back on my journalistic training, a surprisingly successful 25 career as a public relations consultant followed, during which I developed the courage and confidence to promote my own business as well as those of my clients. By the time I accidentally became a 'comedy producer', I had accumulated a wealth of experience and a collection of useful skills to grow my own brand.
Research shows that if you empower a woman, you empower a family, a community, and indeed a nation. This is because women invest 90% of what they earn back into their families' health and education, making a lasting difference. Yet while there are so many smart and hard-working women out there, many of them struggle in particular with access to banks and loans. Today, more than 2.5 billion adults in the developing world are considered 'financially excluded'. This means that they do not have access to basic financial services, such as savings, bank accounts, or credit. The majority are women.