Wednesday 27 May, 2020

US Ambassador Mondello: Female entrepreneurship empowers communities

Photo: US Ambassador Joseph Mondello

Photo: US Ambassador Joseph Mondello

US Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Joseph Mondello said female entrepreneurs are the key to uplifting local communities.

Speaking at the launch of the Rise Women’s Conference, which takes place from March 28-30, Mondello said women often must compete with gender bias while striving to make their businesses successful.

“Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool in taking back our society from crime and violence. It is imperative that we have the right people administering resources to have any hope of achieving this change. This is where all of you come in.

“Take a moment and look at all of those who are gathered here today, this is a very powerful group of change-makers. I don’t use that word lightly. All of you were hand-selected with the hope that over the course of this programme you will build your knowledge base, not just to improve your businesses, but to apply techniques that will improve your communities as well.”

“As entrepreneurs…you as women must often contend with gender biases, working in a society still grappling with gender equality. That’s a tough task for anyone. Yet despite these challenges you continue to find ways to overcome every obstacle in front of you,” he said.

(Photo: Attendees of the 2019 Rise Women's Conference, held at the US Embassy headquarters in Port of Spain.)

He said the workshop focuses on empowering women because studies show that women, more than men, own businesses to make positive change.

Michael Barrera, Deputy Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, said women entrepreneurs 'get things done'.

"You do your work from the heart, you live your life from the heart. Women - and I found this to be true in Trinidad and Tobago and around the world - women get things done because you do things from the heart."

"I strongly believe that in any organisation the key is tearing down those walls, those things that separate us, and by collaborating together to achieve the greater good, and that's what we hope will happen here," he said. 

Barrera encouraged attendees to make connections and collaborate during the conference in order to strengthen their business networks. 

The Rise Women’s Conference focuses on key challenges faced by female entrepreneurs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The three-day conference will focus on female-driven business in communities and their potential for growth and the possibility of strengthening communities by providing jobs and income.

The conference was attended by women from across the Caribbean and Latin America. 

The Rise Women’s Conference is sponsored by the US Embassy, the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI), and Dingolé Ltd.

For more information visit 

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