Mary Kay, Inc. last fall launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, a multipartner initiative designed to inspire, educate and empower women entrepreneurs around the world. In this interview with Kevin Edwards of Real Leaders Magazine, Deborah Gibbins, COO of Mary Kay, Inc., describes the program, its goals and its partners, including six United Nations agencies, and also talks about what being a leader means to her.

Related: Mary Kay, Inc. aims to empower women with Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator

Gibbins notes that her company was founded by Mary Kay Ash, “who got frustrated because she had trainees promoted above her all the time, so she created her own company to create opportunities (for women) … When women kind of get frustrated and they see lack of opportunities, often they turn to starting their own businesses. Women are really at a disadvantage when it comes to funding, access to mentors, access to networks … so there’s so much work that has to happen, and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing.”

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