Here’s an interesting upturn even during a downturn. Amid all the bad news on investment banking, Goldman Sachs has a special program to train women in entrepreneurship in developing markets. The World Bank has a $100 million program for commercial credit to women.

This was in a Dec. 26 report in The New York Times: Businesses See Opportunities in Empowering Women. Here’s a quote:

Many corporate programs employ microloans, grants or gifts to promote business education. Goldman decided to take a different approach after its research showed that per-capita income in Brazil, China, India, Russia and other emerging markets could rise by as much as 14 percent if women had better management and entrepreneurial skills.

“It’s not only philanthropy they’re after,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the International Center for Research on Women. Goldman “had the idea that investment in women means a return on the gross national product of the country, and on household income.”

The Goldman Sachs initiative is called “10,000 Women.” The story also mentions an AT&T donation to create a foundation for training women from developing nations.

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