MS. CRONSTEDT: So, a dinner kit or a meal kit company is basically that we deliver groceries with a recipe that you cook at home. So, I wanted to actually improve lives of families, women, to cook quicker, better food for their families, so that's what I was doing. And mentoring opportunities and networks like these, like Global Ambassador's Program, do not exist in Russia. They're just not there. So, having been chosen to participate in this program was a huge confidence booster. It made me, you know, I was part of the team, and secondly, the time that my mentor gave me caring for my business, the insights and some very actionable advice that really worked for my business, that was very forceful. I had never thought that that would be possible. So, coming back from Russia I implemented the changes that Biatta [phonetic], my mentor, suggested, and only now that I can look back two and a half years later, I can really appreciate the amount of impact that made on my business, and actually on my second business which I started six months--
MS. NIGEST HAILE: Thank you. In thinking of establishing a commercial bank is not an easy task, which all of you know, particularly the staff of the Bank of America and the rest of the others. We were really focusing on issues of the women operating in the small and medium enterprises, which we usually call the "missing middle." Which the formal banks are never interested to address their interests because of the issue of collateral, the stringent application processes, the lack of a track record in being their bankers, and all those. And yet, on the other side the microfinancing institutions are too small for those groups of women, so where do they fit? So, we said, 11 of us, visionary women who had been fully engaged in all of our full-time engagements, we said, "Let's have a solution. Why do we wait for the government? Why do we wait for people to come and help us? So, let's try to do it." That time was a very good opportunity for private banks to emerge, so we came out to be the 15th or the 16th private bank in Ethiopia, so we were able to do it. It was not an easy process. We had full-time jobs, busy traveling, doing our own tasks, but again no weekend, no sleep, our marriages suffered, our children suffered, but anyway, we left a legacy. So, we were able to establish the bank, actually the process started in 2008, we were registered as a national bank in 2011, but we started operation in 2013. You can see the process.
While parents remain the top source of financial advice for most women, only 20 percent said they felt well prepared by their parents to manage their finances as an adult. Even fewer said they learned about these topics in school. Only 24 percent learned about budgeting and setting financial goals; 14 percent said they learned about investing. Overall, only nine percent of women said their education through high school left them well prepared to manage personal finances as an adult. A slightly better 10 percent said this of their college education9.
Conventional wisdom “blames” women for this gap. We receive messages that we’re not as good at math as men; we’re not as good at investing. Um, no. Studies have found that once women do invest, they outperform men by nearly one percentage point a year. This was confirmed recently by Fidelity, which analyzed the performance of 8 million retail clients in 2016. Typically women outperform because they don’t overtrade, panic in down markets, or pay too much in fees.
MS. SMITH: No, thank you. And thank you to this panel, thank you to all of you. Thank you to all of our panelists and our amazing speakers. I'm inspired. I'm inspired by everyone, and I wrote down a few things. I mean hammocks, the 5,000 Lowe's hammocks, or the bank in Ethiopia, the small loan is 1.8 million. I mean I think we've got some things we can learn here. I mean the dinner kit to the, sold already and now online catering. I mean the stories are amazing. So, Alyse, thank you for the partnership for the last five years, and thank you to all of our mentees and mentors for being here. we're so excited to be able to do the program in the United States, in our corporate headquarters, which is fantastic. And as Margaret reminded me I'm the only thing standing between all of you and the reception. So, my last comment though is please come to the reception because our mentees will have wears from their businesses, and they'll be able to talk to you about all of the things that they're doing. So--