March 17, 2014

Accenture Awards Cherie Blair Foundation for Women US$1.7 Million to Help Ensure Success of Women Entrepreneurs in Rwanda

Grant is part of Accenture’s corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed

LONDON; March 17, 2014 – Accenture and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women today announced that Accenture and the Accenture Foundations have awarded the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women US$ 1.7 million to provide women business owners in Rwanda with the entrepreneurial skills they need to be successful.

The award is part of Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which plans to equip 500,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business.

The two-year grant will enable the Cherie Blair Foundation to deliver their ‘Skilling for Change’ program – a new initiative developed in partnership with Accenture and CARE International – which aims to reach more than 15,000 women entrepreneurs in Rwanda through a combination of classroom and online based mentoring and skill building courses. Focused on business plan development, financial literacy, investor readiness and social media for business growth, the initiative will tailor skills training to fit the maturity of each participant’s business, their ICT skills capabilities and their local language. Additionally, the grant will help support development of mobile technologies designed to provide easier access to mobile banking services.

“Through skills training and mentoring, these women will gain the opportunities they need to establish and grow businesses that bring them, their families and their local communities financial independence,” said Jill Huntley, managing director, Global Corporate Citizenship, Accenture. “By partnering with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, we can use technology to build a program that is both sustainable and scalable and that ultimately builds the confidence and capabilities of women entrepreneurs.”

In addition to the grant, Accenture will support the initiative with pro-bono consulting services, which range from developing training curricula for webinars and teaching videos to mapping the program’s possible expansion into new geographies.

“Through our partnership with Accenture, we will enable women across Rwanda to realize their economic ambitions,” said Sevi Simavi, CEO of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. “Helping to increase the access to skills training, technology and capital will contribute to the greater, ongoing financial success of Rwanda’s women entrepreneurs, and help to inform the expansion of skills training to women in need around the world.”

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 281,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Through its Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship focus, Accenture is committed to equipping 500,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is

About the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provides women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets with the skills, technology, networks and access to finance that they need to become successful small and growing business owners, so that they can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies. Working in partnership with local and international non-profit organizations, the private and public sector, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women develops projects with sustainable solutions to the challenges women entrepreneurs face through three programs: Enterprise Development, Mentoring and Mobile Technology. Find out more:

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Stacey Jones
+ 917 452 6561

Kate Emmerson
+ 44 (0) 207-844-8132

Jillian Convey
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
+ 44 (0) 207 258 3137