KUCHING (Nov 18): The United States government is committed to women’s empowerment in view of its unique multiplier benefit to investing specifically in women entrepreneurs, said US Ambassador to Malaysia Kamala Shirin Lakhdhir.
She said successful women were more likely to reinvest in their families, communities and countries.
Citing the Wanita Empowered Business Mentorship Programme, she pointed out that mentors under this programme were an ideal example of this type of multiplier benefit.
“In fact, over and over, in country after country, this dynamic drives economic growth and social benefits,” she said at the virtual launch of the programme held over Zoom today.
Under the programme, she said 30 participants from Sarawak, Sabah and Penang will be matched with industry experts and women executives and go through coaching and skill development activities over the next six months.
“That is always challenging and will require the mentees to bring their creativity and energy to the process. The mentorship is the foundation of this programme and it is key for everyone’s success,” she said.
She hoped that the relationship between the participants and their mentors will continue beyond the six-month stint.
“As we all know, successful entrepreneurs and successful leaders need a network and they need it for their whole professional lifetime,” she added.
The Wanita Empowered Business Mentorship Programme, organised by the US Embassy in partnership with Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professional Association (Swepa), is part of the the embassy’s yearlong Wanita Empowered initiative, said Kamala.
“Our Wanita Empowered programmes demonstrate the importance we place on promoting equality in opportunity, supporting women’s economic prosperity and strengthening economic ties between the United States and Malaysia,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sabah’s Assistant Minister of Community Development and People’s Well-being Datuk Julita Mojungki said women serve as the backbone of the community and the initiatives by the US Embassy were essential in building a stronger community and well-being of families.
“This business mentorship programme is indeed timely as our government is actively promoting entrepreneurship at all sectors.
“Much emphasis has been given to advocate the concept of ‘Malaysia Incorporated’ whereby the public and private sectors are encouraged to work together to drive the economy,” she said.
She also said the government will reinforce and enhance existing initiative and programmes to boost entrepreneurship activities in Malaysia to ensure that the country continues to grow sustainably through an impartial economic distribution.
On the programme, Julita said she looked forward to seeing the fruit of the labour in the next six months and hoped that this will be just the start of future partnerships, collaborations and initiatives to continue developing the community through building women.