10,000 Women

Teaching and Inspiring the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

"The greatest joy is to realize my value," said Cao Mingming, who was able to achieve this notable personal goal with the help of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women program. Cao is one of the more than 2,000 women from China who have participated or will participate in one of our flagship initiatives, a five-year program to provide underserved women entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education.

"The kindergarten was my mother’s dream," said Cao of Beijing Fengtai Yixin Art Kindergarten, the school she founded in June 2004. "My mother was born in the countryside and had never been to school. But she had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to run a business of her own." Now a thriving business and educational center, the kindergarten teaches nearly 2,000 children between the ages of two and six and employs 350 people, including formerly retired and previously unemployed people, as well as individuals with disabilities.

It is no accident that fully one-fifth of the participants in the 10,000 Women program will be trained in China by the end of 2013. With a population of more than 1 billion, China has emerged as a vibrant center of economic growth. We are there to support today’s entrepreneurs, train tomorrow’s leaders and help build the pillars of economic progress. So far, more than 1,600 scholars have graduated from the program, recruited from 30 of China’s 31 provinces. The program has established partnerships and strategic alliances at national and provincial levels with a variety of government, private and non-profit organizations, including the All-China Women’s Federation, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

"I hope our emphasis on teaching the importance of societal contributions becomes integrated into every kindergarten class we create," said Cao, who plans to create a chain of kindergarten schools. "In my view, this is most important."