Mrinalini Venkatachalam, Regional Director, SE Asia, and Oceania, WEConnect International

Mrinalini Venkatachalam, Regional Director, SE Asia, and Oceania, WEConnect International

  • Mrinalini Venkatachalam is the Regional Director, SE Asia, and Oceania for WEConnect International.

 

Podcast

Overview

The increasing presence of women as entrepreneurs has led to significant business and economic growth in the country. Women-owned business enterprises are playing a prominent role in society by generating employment opportunities in the country, bringing in demographic shifts, and inspiring the next generation of women founders. We have brought Mrinalini Venkatachalam, Regional Director, SE Asia, and Oceania, WEConnect International to discuss the same with us.

00:32- About Mrinalini Venkatachalam

  • Mrinalini Venkatachalam is the Regional Director, SE Asia, and Oceania for WEConnect International.
  • Mrinalini has worked to bridge the gap between unmet social needs and service providers, giving large corporates, government agencies, community organizations, and social enterprises the platform to create measurable social impact.
  • She has been awarded the Singapore Women’s Weekly’s Great Women of Our Time award in the Public Service and Education category and has recently been nominated as one of Cleo Singapore’s 2016 top ten Changemakers.

00:59- What does WEConnect do?

  • WEConnect International helps drive money into the hands of women business owners by enabling them to compete in the global marketplace.
  • Our vision is a world in which women have the same opportunities as men to design and implement business solutions that create wealth and the sustainable prosperity of their communities.
  • WEConnect International connects member buyers to women-owned sellers based outside the US, enhances their capabilities to transact business, and instills confidence that sellers meet buyers’ standards for women-owned businesses.

03:28- What are the challenges women face in self-employment or entrepreneurship?

  • There’s a general assumption that women are incapable of doing anything.
  • There are a lot of industries that tend to be more male-dominated.
  • Women tend to get way less funding than male entrepreneurs.

09:06- How does the income that a woman earns supports her family?

  • Women reinvest 90% of their earnings into building their families and communities that help with better education, and better access to resources for the families.
  • Women in business have higher rates of hiring other women, which in turn has a domino effect on the impact.

12:29- How does culture impact women entrepreneurs across the entire globe?

  • The Asian nations have a fairly patriarchal society.
  • That is ingrained in a lot of our practices and the ways we deal with situations that do contribute to the lack of progress.

13:56- How can elders and society change themselves to support women?

  • The first thing is to acknowledge the fact that many of our traditions were created at a time when only men went to work.
  • Almost all households now are dual-income in some way because the way that our economy has evolved has mandated it.
  • To create an atmosphere where both the work environment and also within the home are the responsibility of both individuals, not just the female.

RESOURCES:

You can connect with Mrinalini Venkatachalam- LinkedIn

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Profile

Mrinalini Venkatachalam is the Regional Director for South East Asia and Oceania at WEConnect International, a global nonprofit network that works with multinational corporations and multilateral organizations to generate market-access opportunity for women’s business enterprises in over 125 countries through supplier diversity.

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