IDRC, 2016 – 33 pages
This paper takes stock of what we know about women entrepreneurs, the barriers they face, the role of economic and social-cultural factors, what works in supporting women-owned businesses, and where the knowledge gaps are.
- Training programmes can work and have positive impacts on business behaviour, but longer-term and growth impacts are not easily found. In-depth and longer training and mentorship are likely to have larger impacts.
- While addressing constraints to financing is a key priority, finance on its own may not have a large impact on most women-owned businesses.
- Access to mobile phones and other technologies, similarly, is a necessary but not sufficient condition. Gender-specific applications can be critical; for example, to allow women to better manage the needs of both business and household investments.
- Women need the legal protection that business registration offers.