The secret letters of history’s first-known businesswomen

The secret letters of history’s first-known businesswomen

New research gives us insights into history’s first well-documented businesswomen, who made their mark earlier than you may think.

Friday, January 15, 2021, by BBC

New research gives us insights into history’s first well-documented businesswomen, who made their mark earlier than you may think.

Friday, January 15, 2021, by BBC

The letters, though tiny, contained a wealth of insight into this ancient world of commerce (Credit: Cecile Michel, Archaeological Mission of Kültepe)

The letters, though tiny, contained a wealth of insight into this ancient world of commerce (Credit: Cecile Michel, Archaeological Mission of Kültepe)

Around 1870BC, in the city of Assur in northern Iraq, a woman called Ahaha uncovered a case of financial fraud. 

Ahaha had invested in long-distance trade between Assur and the city of Kanesh in Turkey. She and other investors had pooled silver to finance a donkey caravan delivering tin and textiles to Kanesh, where the goods would be exchanged for more silver, generating a tidy profit. But Ahaha’s share of the profits seemed to have gone missing – possibly embezzled by one of her own brothers, Buzazu. So, she grabbed a reed stylus and clay tablet and scribbled a letter to another brother, Assur-mutappil, pleading for help: 

“I have nothing else apart from these funds,” she wrote in cuneiform script. “Take care to act so that I will not be ruined!” She instructed Assur-mutappil to recover her silver and update her quickly. “Let a detailed letter from you come to me by the very next caravan, saying if they do pay the silver,” she wrote in another tablet. “Now is the time to do me a favour and to save me from financial stress!” 

Ahaha’s letters are among 23,000 clay tablets excavated over the past decades from the ruins of merchants’ homes in Kanesh. They belonged to Assyrian expats who had settled in Kanesh and kept up a lively correspondence with their families back in Assur, which lay six weeks away by donkey caravan. A new book gives unprecedented insight into a remarkable group within this community: women who seized new opportunities offered by social and economic change, and took on roles more typically filled by men at the time. They became the first-known businesswomen, female bankers and female investors in the history of humanity. 

‘Strong and independent’ 

The bulk of the letters, contracts and court rulings found in Kanesh date from around 1900-1850 BC, a period when the Assyrians’ trading network was flourishing, bringing prosperity to the region and giving rise to many innovations. The Assyrians invented certain forms of investment and were also among the first men and women to write their own letters, rather than dictating them to professional scribes. It’s thanks to these letters that we can hear a chorus of vibrant female voices telling us that even in the distant past, commerce and innovation were not the exclusive domains of men.

The ancient city of Kanesh, also known as Kültepe mound, in what is now Turkey (Credit: Archaeological Mission of Kültepe Archives)

                        The ancient city of Kanesh, also known as Kültepe mound, in what is now Turkey (Credit: Archaeological Mission of Kültepe Archives)

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, by World Bank Group

Female Business Leaders, Business and Cultural Environment, and Productivity Around the World

Wednesday, January 13, 2021, by World Bank Group

While women are beginning to get ahead of men in selective countries in a few areas, such as college admission, in both high-paying and leadership jobs, women continue to lag significantly behind.

Studies of female business leaders and economic performance are rarely conducted with worldwide observational data, and with considerations on the underlying cultural, institutional, and business environment. This paper uses worldwide, firm-level data from more than 100 countries to study how female-headed firms differ from male-headed firms in productivity level and growth, and whether the female leader performance disparity hinges on the underlying environment. Female-headed firms account for about 11 percent of firms and are more prevalent in countries with better rule of law, gender equality, and stronger individualistic culture. On average, female-headed firms have 9 to 16 percent lower productivity and 1.6 percentage points lower labor productivity growth, compared with male-headed firms. The disadvantage is mainly in manufacturing firms, largely nonexistent in service firms, and present in relatively small firms. Although the female leader performance disadvantage is surprisingly not related to gender equality, it is smaller where there is less emphasis on personal networks (better rule of law, lower trade credit linkages, lower usage of bank credit, and more equalizing internet), less competition, and the culture is more collective. The study does not find that the female leader disadvantage is amplified in corrupt environments. Africa differs significantly in that it features lower female disadvantage, stronger female advantage in services relative to manufacturing, and stronger sensitivity of female business leaders to electricity provision and bank credit access. (Read more…)

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, by OECD

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2020

Wednesday, December 2, 2020, by OECD

Last week, we released the new OECD Digital Economy Outlook, our comprehensive analysis of emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges in the digital economy.

In addition to covering policy developments and the latest data, this year’s report includes a special focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic could mark an inflection point in the digital transformation.

Read Key Findings in Our Blog

Read the full report

Find out more in our slide presentation

Digital technologies have played a key role in nearly every aspect of the COVID-19 response – everything from teleworking and distance learning to AI-powered diagnostics and track-and-trace apps. But the pandemic has also amplified concerns around security and privacy while shedding light on persistent gaps in digital access, use, and skills.

In a special brief, we discuss how policymakers can seize this opportunity to steer the digital transformation towards a more inclusive and resilient post-COVID future.

Read our brief on COVID-19 and digital divides

Untech, el despertar de un medicamento Argentino

Untech, el despertar de un medicamento Argentino

Untech, El Despertar de un Medicamento Argentino

Monday, July 6, 2020

Untech, El Despertar de un Medicamento Argentino

Monday, July 6, 2020

Soñar realidades, realizar sueño: cuando un investigador emprende

Aceleradora Litoral, junto a Universidad Nacional del Litoral, invitan a esta presentación, dirigida a investigadores y emprendedores de base científico tecnológica de todo el mundo.

La charla se realizará a través de plataforma virtual el martes 7 de julio a las 17:30hs y  estará a cargo del Dr. Alberto Ramos,  Co-fundador la empresa de base tecnológica Untech, encargada de desarrollar y llevar al mercado internacional un medicamento capaz de cicatrizar heridas crónicas.

El Dr. Ramos es Químico (UNSa), Bioquímico (UNT), Doctor en bioquímica (UNT-UNLp), postdoctorado en Biotecnología Farmacéutica e Inmunología (UFRGDS) y Especialista en Docencia Universitaria (UNCuyo).  Con sus investigaciones en heridas crónicas ha ganado premios Internacionales durante 4 años consecutivos, publicando diversos trabajos en las revistas de mayor impacto de la especialidad y libros para editoriales de España, Japón y EEUU. Es el autor del libro en Amazon “Facilitando la transferencia de Biotecnología”, en donde propone un método de diseño de investigación que maximiza las probabilidades de transferencia. Por su trabajo, fue galardonado con el premio Ten Outstanding Young Persons por la Junior Chamber International.

En su camino emprendedor junto a UNTECH, la empresa fue galardonada por múltiples premios y concursos otorgados por prestigiosas instituciones como la Universidad Austral, Everis, Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) Samsung, Instituto Balseiro y Stanford University y fue elegida como una de las promesas Argentinas por la revista Forbes y en Technology Korea summit (Corea del Sur) como la mejor Startup Argentina.

A lo largo de la charla, el Dr. Ramos compartirá sus experiencias en el ecosistema emprendedor de base científica tecnológica, abriendo un espacio de construcción e inspiración para emprendedores e investigadores.

Inscripción gratuita AQUÍ

http://www.aceleradoralitoral.com.ar/untech/

Para consultas: info@aceleradoralitoral.com.ar

El Desafío de Las PyME

El Desafío de Las PyME

El Desafío de Las PyME

Monday, July 6, 2020

El Desafío de Las PyME

Monday, July 6, 2020

Impacto territorial-sectorial del coronavirus y oportunidades en el nuevo escenario

Conferencia Online- MARTES 07 DE JULIO, 15hs.
www.observatoriopyme.org.ar

Call for Insights: SME Finance Outlook 2030

Call for Insights: SME Finance Outlook 2030

Call for Insights: SME Finance Outlook 2030

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 · Global SME Finance Forum

Call for Insights: SME Finance Outlook 2030

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 · Global SME Finance Forum

To celebrate the new decade, this year’s Global SME Finance Forum will look much farther forward, to imagine where we might be in SME financing a decade from now. We will test the limits of our prescience by predicting how products, delivery channels, institutions and enabling environments might look 10 years from now.

Following our practice of leveraging as much knowledge sharing as we can from our membership and our wider public audience, we will launch a public “Call for Insights” on what SME finance will look like in 2030. Best articles will be shared in a special report to be issued at the conference, and the authors will be considered for speaking roles at the event.

Submission Guidelines for Participants

What will SME financing look like in 2030? What will profoundly influence its ecosystem? Will unexpected players dominate the market? How different will SME financing be in 10 years from now?

With the start of this new decade, the SME Finance Forum seeks thought-provoking, creative and impactful insights to help shape the debate on the future of finance for SMEs. We are encouraging participants to share their unique visions in 500-1,000-word essays.

Authors of all submissions that are selected by our panel of judges will receive a complimentary ticket (worth US$2,000) to the Global SME Finance Forum 2020 in Bangkok, October 26-28 – where we will launch a new publication containing the insights. The most outstanding authors will be invited to address this meeting, and to share their perspectives with senior leaders from the World Bank and IFC (either during the event or at the Annual/Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group). 

Possible questions to consider (although any and all visions are encouraged):

  • Who will be the main providers of SME financing in 2030?  How will that compare to the dominant institutions of today? 
  • Will FinTech companies and traditional financial institutions be permanent competitors or durable partners in providing solutions for SMEs?
  • How will AI, Machine Learning and robots change the role of people in SME financing?
  • How will the role of governments and policy evolve to deal with innovations to come?
  • What will the SME finance gap look like in 2030, and why?

Submission requirements:

 To learn more about our selection criteria, please review our Frequently Asked Questions.