September 12, 2017

In developing countries, women entrepreneurs are key drivers of market growth and employment. Worldwide, women entrepreneurs play a significant role in beginning to close the gender gap. Given the significant impact of women's entrepreneurship, identifying the means by which to truly help women start and grow their businesses is quickly becoming a global priority. Devex reporter Lisa Cornish discusses the state of women's global entrepreneurship: why are women entrepreneurs so critical to the economy? What data are we missing on women entrepreneurs? What barriers to women entrepreneurs face and how can we break these down? In order to effectively support women entrepreneurs, Cornish asserts that we need to fully understand the answers to these questions and then address them with interventions that are women-specific. Read more about the importance of women's entrepreneurship and gendered interventions at the link below.

July 8, 2017

During the G20 Leaders Summit, the World Bank Group announced the creation of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), an innovative new mechanism that will aim to enable more than $1 billion to advance inclusive economic growth through women’s entrepreneurship. We-Fi, the first World Bank-led facility to advance women’s entrepreneurship on this scale, will use resources from both the public and private sectors in order to help address the particular barriers faced by women entrepreneurs and women business-owners, particularly those in developing countries. Specifically, We-Fi will assist women in developing countries to gain increased access to finance, local and global markets, and mentors and networks necessary to both start and grow a business. We-Fi will also aim to improve the business environment for women-owned SME’s in global supply chains.

The We-Fi facility was initiated by the United States, who will serve as a founding member, along with other donor countries. Read the full World Bank press release and get more information about the initiatve at the links below. 

November 15, 2016

For women who face disadvantages in climbing the corporate ladder, entrepreneurship is a potential way for them to meet their potential. But even then, women still face gender-related constraints when starting a business, according to a study by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Laws that restrict women's access to financing is one key barrier for female owners of small and medium enterprises, according to the study. “Restrictive inheritance laws are a good example of this type of barrier. The practical effect is that these laws prevent women from using land as collateral when applying for loans,” said Carlos Kuriyama, senior analyst at APEC’s policy support unit and a co-author of the study. “In some economies, women are unable to apply for credit without authorization from their husbands.” Read more here.

November 14, 2016

When the media talks about women in tech and in the startup world, the focus is often on the negative. We read about how much progress we still need to make towards gender parity in leadership, and widespread discrimination against female developers. High-profile lawsuits from women like Ellen Pao put a spotlight on an unwelcoming culture that sounds more like a throwback to the 1950s than the industry that is supposed to be leading us into the future. Read more here.