I am proud to announce this digital magazine of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl). It showcases examples of our international programmes and how they contribute to women’s economic empowerment.

"(...) I am convinced that more equality and inclusion is of great importance for the future."

gender equality
decent work economic growth

One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is dedicated to Gender Equality (SDG 5). Despite significant progress during the previous decades, we have not been able to achieve equal opportunities for men and women. Worldwide, women are less paid than men for similar tasks and working hours. Moreover, only 1,6% of Dutch start-ups which receive financial support from investment funds is led by women (source: FD).

Both in my professional as in my personal life, I am convinced that more equality and inclusion is of great importance for the future I would like to help shape for my two little boys. Less gender bias leads (e.g.) to more men taking their share in care and more women in jobs. The still unbiased views of my kids, towards men, women, gay, black or – as they mimic a TV show – ‘dark white’, should be exemplary to us grown-ups! As we have left that unbiased period behind us, I would like to call upon all of you to always be aware of your own gender bias and take action for equal opportunities for both women and men.

We, as the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl), have an important role to play in creating more gender equality within the international environment. RVO.nl is looking for opportunities to ensure that more female entrepreneurs in the Netherlands with the ambition to do business abroad find their way to RVO.nl and that our services are responding to the needs and challenges for female entrepreneurs. Furthermore, through projects in various developing countries, RVO.nl aims to create jobs for women and men and to improve the local working conditions (SDG 8).

Browse through the magazine and get inspired by a video which tells the story of Colombian women in the male-dominated mining sector, who received support in setting up an association to strengthen their role within the sector. Or check out the story of women farmers from Burkina Faso who have organized themselves into a cooperation in the Shea Butter sector. Furthermore, the magazine showcases three Dutch female entrepreneurs who share their personal experiences in doing business abroad.

Tjerk Opmeer, Director International Programmes, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl)