Businesswomen’s Network



Strengthening the Commonwealth. Building Businesses. Advancing Women. 54 Countries. One Platform.


CBW brings together the collective experience, relationships, reputation and reach of the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC), BPW International and the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE).


Women in the private sector represent a powerful source of economic growth and opportunity. By strengthening women’s roles as leaders, entrepreneurs, employees, consumers, and stakeholders, CBW can help transform local and global markets.

  • Women entrepreneurs: Across developing countries, it is estimated that SMEs with female ownership represent 30 to 37 percent (8 million to 10 million) of all SMEs. These firms represent a significant share of employment and value added
  • Women employees: Women make up 40 percent of the world’s workforce today. Many of the sectors that are critical for economic growth in some of the poorest countries rely heavily on women employees.
  • Women consumers: The financial power of women is expanding at a faster today rate than at any other time in history. Much of this growth is centred in emerging markets. Global consumer spending by women is projected to reach $28 trillion in 2014, up from $20 trillion in 2009.
  • Women as stakeholders: Women take on leading roles in their communities as partners of business and government.


There has been progress but widespread gender disparities continue to exist in local economies.

  • In 102 out of 141 economies covered by World Bank research, there exists at least one legal difference that may hinder women’s economic opportunities.
  • On average, high-income economies have fewer legal differentiations than middle- and low-income economies. However, as income levels rise, these disparities do not necessarily disappear—for instance, 17 of 39 high-income economies covered by World Bank research have at least one legal gender differentiation between men and women.
  • Women employees are largely concentrated in lower-paying jobs. Employers have made few advances in improving productivity in these sectors.


For more information please click here

Message of Support from Rt. Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Commonwealth Chair


Getting involved






Arif Zaman
Tel: +92 (0) 307 848 6781