The Female Factor

On June 11, the Institute for Far Eastern Studies and Friedrich Naumann Foundation hosted a conference with the snappy title: "North Korea’s Development Capacity and International Cooperation for Knowledge Sharing: Gender, Agriculture, and Tourism Perspectives." The conference brought together practitioners in these diverse fields with scholars to examine and discuss some of the ongoing exchanges taking place in these diverse fields. 

Choson Exchange's Nils Weisensee went along to present a paper on CE's Women in Business program as we approach its 18 month anniversary.

The Women in Business program has seen:

130+ female participants since launch
40+ different institutions represented by women
7 provinces represented in programs 
15-20% selectivity for overseas programs

We encourage you to download and peruse the paper, which explains and contextualizes such nuggets.

Paper Abstract:

Since the initiation of its Women in Business (WIB) program in 2012, Choson Exchange (CE) has been training more than 130 female North Koreans in business, finance, and law. Several dozen competitively selected participants have been taken to Singapore for study trips on international business practices and policy-making. The WIB program focuses on women because ambitious female professionals in the emergent small and medium enterprise sector (SME) are increasingly driving economic change in the DPRK. Feedback from participants and North Korean partners on this initiative has been very encouraging. Therefore, CE plans to expand both its workshop series in the DPRK, as well as the study trips to Singapore. CE also works to reduce some of the hurdles that prevent North Koreans from starting a business by providing mentorship, a network of peers, and possibly funding to get startups off the ground. Having strong local partners, as well as programs on both macro-economic policies and micro-economic business skills, puts CE into a position to scale its impact as much as donor support permits.

The paper is available here.