AWEF Practitioner Learning Brief – Working with the Private Sector to Empower Women: What to measure and how to build the business case for change

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2019, AWEF – 54 pages

There is a related SEEP webinar: Working with the Private Sector to Empower Women: How to Build the Business Case for Change

This brief brings together learning and practice on how to develop a robust business case, which demonstrates the commercial and financial value of adopting new gender-sensitive business practices to private sector partners. It presents a range of business frameworks, approaches, tools, data, and metrics that can be used to build the business case of investing in WEE. Furthermore, a process map on what practitioners need to consider when selecting frameworks and indicators is included too.

Main takeaways:

  • There is no blueprint or right way to make the business case for WEE. The approach must be pragmatic, relevant, and tailored to the country context, to the constraints facing women, the sector in question and the specific interests of private sector partners.
  • Whilst there is a range of guidance and information on principles and approaches that can be used for business case development, they are often not sufficiently tailored to WEE focused interventions. They also rarely distinguish between the role of women as workers, consumers and suppliers, or producers.
  • The report finds that the key to success is for practitioners to understand what stops women from participating in markets, to effectively “sell” the benefits of innovations and to encourage private sector partners to test and change their business practices so that they are more inclusive of women.