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How to empower a billion women

LISTENING IN: How to empower a billion women | Interview By: Susan Rocco

Ingrid Vanderveldt, the founder of a global investment firm that bears her name, looks to empower one billion women by 2020, and she is on target to do so. She came up with the idea one day through quiet meditation as she does daily and approached Dell to join her on this quest – the computer giant said yes. By putting mobile phones in the hands of women from developing countries they would provide the resources necessary to help them start their own businesses, and in turn, these women would look to Dell for their services. Today EBW2020 (Empower a Billion Women by 2020) provides education, support and resources for women to build their businesses and achieve financial freedom wherever they are.

Upbringing – Ingrid was born in Washington D.C. to a successful and supportive family who instilled the importance of education and helped to shape her belief that she should and could strive for whatever direction her faith took her.

A personal challenge – In the fourth grade Ingrid was pulled out of the school she was in because the teachers thought she lacked the “intelligence” to be there. It turns out she had a hearing disability. Once it was discovered, she began to thrive and flourished into the brilliant deal maker and change agent she is today.

Growing up you wanted to be – An architect and then to own and run a million-dollar company like Michael S. Dell.

Proudest professional moment –“My proudest professional moment was also one of my proudest personal moments. It has nothing to do with what I might have thought years ago when I valued everything in deals, dollars and more. It was the day in 2011 that I decided to “100 percent go into service of what I was called to do” in full trust. I listened to that calling and it was Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 (which brought me to Dell) and my life has never been the same.”

Motto – “Make the impossible possible.” “Be comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Ingrid’s faith and spirituality is what guides her. She came to understand the power that women have to conceive and bring to life all that will help us create a more sustainable and better world for the future. She believes it, she models it and she lives it.

To listen to the complete interview, go to www.women2watch.net and click on podcast.

Originally posted on Bizwomen.com. Philly Femfessional Susan Rocco is a weekly columnist for Bizwomen.com, The Business Journals. Sue Rocco is the founder, producer and host of Women to Watch, a live radio program and weekly podcast with a mission to inspire and encourage more women to pursue leadership roles worldwide.

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