The Rising Force of Tomorrow's Female Leaders

Christina Smedley, VP of Global Brand and Communications, PayPal

This week I am in Deauville, France, attending the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society’s Global Summit. Now in its 10th year, the Women’s Forum’s Global Summit is one of the world's leading platforms featuring women's views and voices on major social and economic issues.

One of the key themes this year is how technology and innovation can bridge inequities. PayPal has a history helping individuals establish and grow their businesses and helping women entrepreneurs succeed is an important part of what we do every day.

Whether an entrepreneur is selling online or in-stores, domestically or cross border, the potential for businesses to thrive in a globally connected world is immense.

The top six markets for global trade alone will grow to $307 billion and 130 million consumers in those markets will be shopping cross border by 2018*. This growth is allowing entrepreneurs to scale their businesses well beyond their own neighborhoods. Parul Arora, the owner of Indiatrend, went from a national business selling handcrafted jewelry in India to an international business selling to over 40 countries because she was able to transact with buyers in other countries and could accept foreign currencies.

PayPal is also helping people connect on a local level. Here in France, we recently launched PayPal mobile in-store payments. This technology allows local vendors to offer innovative services, such as Check In, to their customers. We’re making it easier for merchants to provide seamless and convenient experiences that attract new customers and keep them coming back.

In a recent study, we found that aspiring female entrepreneurs are extremely optimistic about starting their own business, but they still have challenges to overcome.

We are doing our part to help them overcome some of these challenges and open the doors to economic opportunity with programs like PayPal Working Capital, currently available in limited markets, which provides businesses capital to expand and grow. Our trusted payment platforms also give businesses the confidence to sell internationally and expand their reach, connecting them to millions of potential customers, and taking these businesses from local start-up to global success.

We are witnessing women around the world making their dreams a reality with a little help from technology innovation, improved processes, and most importantly, their motivation to pursue their creative ideas. And the success of these leaders is inspiring the next generation of women to reimagine their futures.

Joining me at the Global Summit is our own Carey Kolaja, VP of Global Product Solutions at PayPal, who helps drive our technology innovation development that connects people around the world to more easily buy, sell, trade, lend and donate to one another simply and securely.

I will be moderating a fireside chat with internationally renowned fragrance creator Jo Malone, a woman who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit. Jo will be providing her personal insights on how to overcome barriers and create an international brand.

I’ll be sharing some of Jo’s advice following the event; in the meantime I invite you to follow the conversation via #WF14 on social media and share your thoughts on how we can support one another to remove the barriers for tomorrow’s female leaders.

*Modern Spice Routes, 2013 Report

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on the PayPal Forward blog.