International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2019

According to the International Women’s Day official website, “International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has occurred for well over a century, with the first​ ​IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Prior to this the​ Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes, and further groups campaigned for women’s equality.”

Recently, ICSB dedicated its Journal for Small Business Management January Edition, under the direction of editorship of Dr. George Solomon to “High Growth Women Entrepreneurs.” Historically, there has been a lack of research in this area across the Business & Management discipline. ICSB has taken a leadership position in putting forward new and highly relevant research in the contemporary conversation about women entrepreneurs in a global context, and suggesting exciting avenues of research for the future.

We’ve asked ICSB partners and leaders to share their thoughts on Women’s Day:


Women play a crucial role in small businesses in the United States. $11.6 million firms are owned by women, they generate $1.7 trillion in sales and they employ nearly 9 million people. That’s something to celebrate.

Geralyn Franklin

President , ICSB

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate the progress of women in the workforce, including both the women entrepreneurs who create jobs and the talented women who fill them. Women are now equal or majority owners of 45 percent of U.S. companies.  We celebrate their progress while highlighting the work we do at the Women’s Bureau to help empower women to thrive in all aspects of America’s dynamic economy by encouraging access to a skilled workforce and promoting the necessary resources to expand job opportunities.

Patricia Greene

Director, Women’s Bureau of the US Department of Labor

Women are an integral part of any society. Their well-being and empowerment are primary to the development of the global economy. As we celebrate Women’s Day today all around the world, we have a significant milestone we are celebrating in my country -Egypt. Exactly 100 years ago to the day, Egypt witnessed a historic revolution which we called the 1919 revolution. This revolution led to the recognition of Egypt’s independence. Women played a leading part in this revolution and were at the forefront of street protests. What happened 100 years ago, is a stepping stone to where we stand today. Over a quarter of Egypt’s government is led my female ministers and women empowerment is high on the Egyptian government’s agenda. Women Entrpeneurs and Executives are leading the growth of the economy and playing a leading role in local development as well as portraying a positive image of the modern Egyptian society.

Ahmed Osman

President-Elect, ICSB

Women transform the world each day for the better. Today, March 8, International Women Day is only a gentle reminder.

Ayman Tarabishy

Executive Director, ICSB

Women play an important role in the world and especially in ICSB’s four pillars: policy makers, researchers, educators, and entrepreneurs.

George Solomon

Editor , Journal for Small Business Management

I’m the product of the environment: an environment that treated me the same as my brother, encouraged me to pursue any career path, and taught me to use my voice for good. Today, I am thankful for my parents.

Jordyn Murphy

Project Manager, ICSB

We need to level the playing field and make entrepreneurial opportunities more accessible to women and persons of color. Our colleges and universities must identify and invest in promising women and minority students and provide ongoing mentorship and support, not only during their time in school but after graduation.

Julie Goonewardene

Chief Innovation Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer, University of Texas System

A woman/young adult or girl who successfully shines light in dark places, raises bars that are lopsided or low, moves barriers that impede, opens doors that are closed and fills in chasms that divide; by using her gifts, talents, capabilities, and capacity brings about the unending beauty of women empowerment, an unquenchable light that reaches far beyond the intended!

Ngozi Bell

Partner, Trans-Sahara Investment Corporation

In the U.S., less than half of all privately held firms are women owned yet they employ millions. For all this purchasing power, women business owners continue to face challenges accessing capital and the professional networks needed to succeed. Today, as we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women business leaders around the world, let us not forget the need to champion policies and programs that ensure the path to prosperity is accessible to all.

Caitlin Cain

Former CEO, World Trade Center of New Orleans

We need more women leading sustainable development in SME. This greater presence of women in areas of decision-making will be key to the evolution of sustainable development and increased equal opportunities for women. 

Analia Pastran

Executive Director, Smartly, Social Entrepreneurship in SDG

It is important for the women in tech careers to be vocal about their experiences and show other women that we are here in the trenches with them. Women are the gate keepers to an untapped startup opportunity that we often exclude. Utilizing and fostering the growth and women as startup founders isn’t just a win for women but an economic win for everyone.

Audrey P. Willis

Co-founder, board member and instructor, CodeCrew

“Don’t raise her expectations – she’s just a girl; she won’t be able to do all the things you are teaching her.” Thank goodness my mother did not listen to my great aunt, who questioned her parenting style. I am who I am today, because my mother dared to dream.

Liesl Riddle

Graduate Dean, The George Washington School of Business

Kathy Korman Frey is a social entrepreneur who founded the world’s largest womens case library: The award-winning Hot Mommas Project to showcase diverse, authentic female role models in a teachable format. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

Kathy Korman Frey

Founder & CEO, The Hot Mommas Project & Vision Forward

Empowering women-owned businesses to grow and trade is good for the individual business, it’s good for families and it’s good for society and the economy as a whole. This International Women’s Day, let’s go beyond words. Let’s support companies that put women’s empowerment front and center in their business model. #BalanceforBetter #SheTrades

Riefqah Jappie

ITC Representative to the UN, New York

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