On August 17, 2021, within the framework of the BRICS Business Forum, an online session dedicated to the BRICS Women's Business Alliance was held. The topic "From Women's Empowerment to Women's Leadership Development: New Ideas and New Approaches", proposed by the Indian side, became the starting point for a fruitful discussion.
Sagnita Reddy, Chairperson of the Indian Chapter and moderator, opened the session by highlighting the Alliance's work to empower women and reduce the gender gap.
Graziel Parenti, Chairperson of the Brazilian Chapter, suggested focusing on the ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) agenda. Companies need to be encouraged to adopt best practices to help narrow the gender gap and promote economic growth, she said.
Anna Nesterova, Chairperson of the Russian Chapter, drew attention to the projects proposed by the Russian side. This year, Russia presented the concept and received the support of all partners in creating a WBA Information Platform, which will become the basis for building partnerships between women entrepreneurs. The Russian side also launched cooperation in the natural farming sector, proposing the creation of the BRICS Organic Farming Association. Other initiatives of the Russian part include the development of a Guide to Fire Safety in Transport in the BRICS countries, as well as the organization of the BRICS Forum "Green Fashion" and Universal Design", which will focus on the presentation of brands and cultural characteristics of the five BRICS countries.
Anna Nesterova also pointed out the great interest in the projects of the Alliance from non-BRICS states and stated the need to expand the format of interaction within the BRICS plus cooperation, which was stipulated in the Xiamen and Johannesburg Declarations.
Tian Xian, Representative of the Chinese Chapter, Lead Manager of Alibaba Local Services, spoke about the company's projects, which they are implementing, including those carried out in conjunction with the All-China Women's Federation, aimed at supporting women and women's entrepreneurship in China.
Lebogang Zulu shared the ambitious Free the Economy for Women initiative proposed by the South African arm of the Alliance and endorsed by the South African government. According to the initiative, from November 2021, the government will order 40% of public services and goods in the country from women-owned businesses.