HP Life Helps Women and Girls Gain Skills and Confidence

Nov 17, 2016 8:05 AM ET

November provides an opportunity to reflect on the positive impact that entrepreneurs have on economies around the world - from US Entrepreneurship Month to Global Entrepreneurship Week and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

For the past nine years, HP LIFE, a program of the HP Foundation, has been giving hundreds of thousands of women the tools and just as importantly - the confidence—to build their own businesses. HP LIFE is free to use and the 25 online courses, available in seven languages, are designed to enable anyone to access essential business and IT skills training. Eighty two percent of women who took part in an HP LIFE survey said that participating in the program had increased their confidence in their future.

In honor of these inspiring change-makers and to celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day 2016, HP LIFE is proud to share stories of three remarkable women who have taken action to make life better for themselves, their families and the communities in which they live.

Ada, Bano and Najet may live a world apart and face very different challenges but all three credit HP LIFE with giving them the skills and confidence to start their own businesses.

A resident of California, Ada used to work in the restaurant industry where she dreamed of owning a business. Eventually, she took the plunge and started her own eco-conscious cleaning service but without vital business knowledge and training her company soon suffered. Tired, overworked, and out of her depth, Ada needed a solution.

She found it through HP LIFE. With accessible courses presented in her native Spanish, Ada soon had the tools she needed to successfully run her business. She learned how to develop spreadsheets, estimate accurate pricing for clients, as well as numerous ways to improve the administration of her business—creating efficiencies and saving costs. She also learned how to design a company website to broaden her client base.

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80rwNLfAVgo

Bano was still a student when she had her idea for Weavers’ Hut. Dismayed at how a small community of handloom weavers in India’s rural Uttar Pradesh area was being exploited and subjected to caste prejudice, she founded Weaver’s Hut with her cousin Nabila. The innovative business provides the weavers with access to a broader, more stable market and gives them a new forum in which to sell their products.

Bano used the HP LIFE program to learn how to set-up and maintain accounts, track expenses, calculate profit and losses, and more. She also learned how to negotiate bulk orders for products, all for the benefit of the weavers.

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X5VIdkmvUE

For Najet, who wanted to grow her fledgling call center business, the combination of HP LIFE’s online courses and its range of supporting features proved invaluable. In particular, the active online community, which provides users with the opportunity to network, share experiences and make new business contacts, gave her the confidence and knowledge she needed to begin developing new partnerships and accessing new European markets – something she would have found difficult to do before.

Watch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrFgzZyKuwY

HP and the HP Foundation are proud to know that HP LIFE is sparking the entrepreneurial spirit in women like Ada, Bano and Najet all over the world.