atdouglin's blog

South Africa: Women Top Success Rates in SME Survey

Jul 16, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Excerpt cross-posted from an article by Biz-Community on All-Africa.com.

The SME Survey 2014, an annual study of factors behind the success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, has found that a small business owned by a women has a better chance of being profitable than one run by a man.

Equally surprising is that those companies owned by couples or a mix of genders are substantially less likely to be profitable than those operated by either male or female-owners.

"While this result may seem like a big win for women, it comes with an immediate qualifier: the level of female ownership is exceptionally low," says Arthur Goldstuck, SME Survey principal researcher and MD of World Wide Worx.

To provide perspective on profitability and gender differences, the overall picture of South African small business shows that they are doing reasonably well, although only a small proportion - less than one in five - is thriving: 17% of SMEs surveyed are 'strongly profitable' while 45% are 'just profitable'. However, this does leave a significant percentage under some distress: 38% are not making a profit.

Genders results

Against the overall result, it emerges that of the male owned SMEs:

  • 20% are strongly profitable
  • 49% are just profitable

While of the jointly owned SMEs:

  • 16% are strongly profitable
  • 37% are just profitable

And of the female owned SMEs

  • 15% are strongly profitable
  • 63% just profitable

This equates to 78% of women-owned businesses being profitable, well ahead of the 70% for men.

However, the most considerable difference is recorded in jointly owned organisations, where just 53% are profitable. "This shows that there are additional challenges which come with owning a business together with your spouse or partner, or where joint owners have different personal agendas or management styles," Goldstuck says.

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Filed Under: Male attitudes, Evaluation

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Linking Female Small-Scale Farmers and Microentrepreneurs in Rural Peru with Formal Value Chains

Jul 16, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Multilateral Investment Fund Press Release (July 9, 2014), cross-posted from FOMIN.org.

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development  Bank (IDB) Group, recently approved a technical cooperation grant of more than $900,000 for a project with the Fortalecer Savings and Credit Cooperative in Peru that will give 1,500  small-scale rural farmers access to tailored financing, improve their skills and products, and link them to profitable markets. The project is focused on women farmers and seeks to address additional hurdles they face in conducting their business.

Agriculture is the most important economic sector in many rural areas of Peru. Despite the sector’s prominence, small-scale producers and microentrepreneurs involved in agricultural value chains receive low incomes from their production. The low incomes are linked to the low competitiveness of rural small-scale producers, which in turn is driven by three central problems: limited access to tailored financing, low productivity, and poor linkages to markets. For women small-scale producers, the obstacles are even greater, since many of them do not own land and have limited access to financing, productive assets, and technology. Additionally, they bear the main responsibility for the non-remunerated work of caring for children and other household activities.

To address these challenges, the approved project will work in three main areas. First, it will support the design and launch of new credit products adapted to rural farmers’ needs. Second, it will provide training for them to improve their productivity. Finally, the project will give women farmers better access to technical assistance and financial education.

The MIF will help improve the productivity of farmers to integrate them into formal value chains and give them access to profitable markets. Moreover, it will develop Fortalecer’s capability for financing rural value chains. In turn, Fortalecer will support the work of 10 first-tier microfinance institutions that will channel funding to rural producers in 14 value chains. Each value chain will be selected based on its product, its market, and its production process, as well as the rural components of the process and the participation of women.

This project complements a Social Entrepreneurship Program (SEP) loan of $1 million that aims to provide medium- and long-term financing to Peruvian rural value chains. The SEP’s financial contribution will be essential to strengthen partner institutions and to enhance the productivity of farmers and give them access to profitable markets through tailored financing.

In addition to financial support, this project will generate new knowledge about how second‐tier and first‐tier financial institutions can promote tailored agricultural finance while accounting for the gender makeup of rural value chains.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is funded by 39 donors and supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small, and medium business models. More information can be found at fomin.org.


About Fortalecer

The Fortalecer Savings and Credit Cooperative is a second‐tier financial institution that began operations in 2000. Fortalecer provides financial and non‐financial services to partner institutions that target low-income populations. A large proportion (70 percent) of members’ loan portfolios is composed of enterprises run by women, 51 percent of which are located in rural areas. Fortalecer has established partnerships with both national and international institutions that promote inclusive economic and social development in rural and marginal urban areas of Peru.

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Let Girls Learn: A New U.S. Government Initiative

Jul 14, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Around the world, 62 million girls are not in school. Millions more are fighting to stay there. Girls often have to face harassment, discrimination, threats, and even violence just to get an education. Then, even if they can reach a school, they may not have the trained teachers, adequate materials, or support they need to learn to read, write, and do basic math. Recent events in Nigeria focused the world’s concern on their plight. It’s time to Let Girls Learn.

Let Girls Learn is an effort by the United States Government to provide the public with meaningful ways to help all girls to get a quality education. It is led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the lead U.S. Government Agency working to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. In support of the effort, USAID also announced $231.6 million for new programs to support primary and secondary education and safe learning in Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Jordan, as well as support for Guatemala's ongoing, successful efforts to improve quality of education for under-served populations.

Visit the Let Girls Learn USAID Portal →

View the Fact Sheet →

Follow USAID on social media and use #LetGirlsLearn to share the creative and inspiring ways you are working to help educate girls:

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Armenia's Best Woman Entrepreneur Award 2014

Jun 17, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Cross-posted from USAID.gov, Press Release (4/4/2014)

Head of USAID/Armenia Karen Hilliard (center) presents certificates to two women awardees: Anahit Alaverdyan as the “best start-up entrepreneur from the region”, and Yepraksi Tarverdyan for the “best brand by woman entrepreneur from the region.”

Yerevan, Armenia – The National Gallery of Armenia hosted on April 4 the Best Woman Entrepreneur award ceremony. The event is held annually under the auspices of the Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan with the aim of inspiring and encouraging women entrepreneurs in Armenia.

This year the event was supported by the USAID-funded Partnerships for Rural Prosperity Program, implemented by the SME Development National Center of Armenia (SME DNC). In attendance at the event were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Territorial Administration Armen Gevorgyan, Head of USAID/Armenia Karen Hilliard, representatives of the international donor community, local organizations, and the media.

The ceremony features six nominations for an award: best woman employer; best woman initiator/innovator; woman benefactor; best brand by a woman entrepreneur; best young woman entrepreneur; and best start-up woman entrepreneur. An independent jury selects two candidates – one from capital Yerevan and one from a region – for each category that will receive certificates of honor from the Prime Minister. In addition, donors and international organizations, including USAID, UNDP, UNIDO, GIZ, ADB, and IFC, grant their own prizes to selected women entrepreneurs.

As part of its mission to foster rural entrepreneurship and stimulate women’s participation in economic activity, the USAID-funded Partnerships for Rural Prosperity Program (PRP) was pleased to grant certificates and gift cards to two women awardees this year: Anahit Alaverdyan, owner of a bed-and-breakfast in Ijevan (Tavush) as the “best start-up entrepreneur from the region”, and Yepraksi Tarverdyan, producer of dried fruits and candied fruits in Azatavan (Ararat), for the “best brand by woman entrepreneur from the region.”

The event, through the support of the Asian Development Bank, also featured a film and a brochure with success stories of the women awardees of 2013.

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Filed Under: Leadership

Infographic: Women Powering Business, Regional Highlights

Jun 17, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

2014 Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and development Index (GEDI) Research of High-Potential Women Entrepreneurs, commissioned by Dell.

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Dell 2014 Gender-GEDI Research Shows More Support Needed to Enable Female Entrepreneurship Development Worldwide

Jun 16, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Cross-posted from Dell.com. Press Release - 6/2/2014.

On June 2, 2014, Dell announced the results of the second annual Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), revealing that more than 75 percent of countries surveyed are not meeting the most fundamental conditions required for female entrepreneurs to prosper.

Commissioned by Dell, the Gender-GEDI is the world’s only diagnostic tool that comprehensively measures high potential female entrepreneurship by analyzing entrepreneurial ecosystems, business environments and individual aspirations across 30 developed and developing economies spanning multiple regions, providing a systematic approach that allows cross-country comparison, benchmarking, and identifies data gaps. The goal of the research is not to provide a headcount of female entrepreneurs worldwide, rather it is future-oriented and designed to be a tool to guide leaders, policymakers and law-makers in identifying country-wide strengths and weaknesses and developing strategies to create more favorable conditions in their countries to enable businesses founded by women to thrive.

“At Dell, we are committed to empowering people everywhere with technology solutions to fulfill their ambitions and reach their full potential,” said Karen Quintos, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Dell. “The Gender-GEDI Index provides key insights designed to help countries advance female entrepreneurship and ultimately bolster the global economy. We believe awareness of the current landscape for women entrepreneurship is the first step toward change.”

To inform and refine the research parameters of the Gender-GEDI, an expert panel was convened, comprised of leading change agents from the U.S. Department of State and global organizations such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank, Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI), Vital Voices, and WEConnect International, many of whom have already began using the research as a tool to inform policy and institute reform (examples available).

2014 Gender-GEDI Results
Among the 17 countries included in both the 2013 and 2014 Gender-GEDI reports, four increased their rankings (Japan, Brazil, India, and United Kingdom), four showed a decline (Malaysia, Egypt, Mexico and Morocco), and the others ranked comparatively both years.

The highest performing countries in the 2014 Gender-GEDI rankings are all OECD member countries with highly developed economies, and for the second year in a row, the U.S. (83) and Australia (80) came out on top, followed by Sweden (73), France and Germany (tied at 67), Chile (55), the United Kingdom (54) and Poland (51). The remaining 23 of the 30 countries studied received an overall index score of less than 50 out of 100, indicating that many of the fundamental conditions for high potential female entrepreneurship development are generally lacking in the majority of countries.

“To harness the full potential of the low performing countries, the Gender-GEDI results demonstrate that basic improvements are required in terms of access to equal legal rights and education as well as acceptance of women’s social and economic empowerment,” said Ruta Aidis, project director for the Gender-GEDI. “For countries with moderate scores, to improve their rankings, they should focus both on current women’s enterprise development interventions and support as well as basic improvements in the business-enabling environment.”

The 2014 Gender-GEDI demonstrates that top-performing countries are not necessarily the ones with the highest GDP levels; rather they are those who have committed to improving the conditions for female entrepreneurship on several fronts simultaneously, and even those with the highest scores still have room for improvement. While these countries tend to have good business-enabling environments overall, they could benefit from supporting programs designed to activate and accelerate the growth of high-potential female entrepreneurs.

To provide tangible examples on how women entrepreneurs can overcome challenges and maximize the opportunities flagged in the study, Dell commissioned an e-book, Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, featuring case studies of 10 women entrepreneurs, which is available for download starting today on Dell.com/women.

GEDI-Index

Related infographic →

Index Highlights
The Gender-GEDI is focused on the ways in which governments, institutions and corporations can support the effort of improving conditions for high-potential female entrepreneurship worldwide, and the 2014 results indicate that, across all nations, there is still much to be done, but by increasing access to education, technology, capital and networks, significant progress can be made.

  • Access to capital continues to be crucial. Access to a formal bank account is critical for entrepreneurs, especially since it is a necessary precursor to the financing (bank loans, credit lines, etc.) that fuels business growth. However, in 14 of the 30 countries, 50 percent or more of the female population is unbanked, with the gender disparities being highest in Turkey, where there is close to a 50 percent difference between men and women with bank accounts. Worldwide, women also receive less outside funding for their businesses than men.
  • Many industries remain male-dominated. Occupation crowding, or the existence of ‘male’ and ‘female’ jobs in a country’s economy, not only contributes to the gender wage gap but also results in the concentration of women’s entrepreneurial activity within specific sectors, which can be detrimental to fully utilizing a nation’s capacity for innovation. Out of the 30 countries, only eight received an overall balanced ratio across employment sectors, and in India and Pakistan, formal employment is so highly sex segregated that no employment sectors are balanced. Some countries and industries are beginning to address these occupational inequalities through voluntary quotas and targeted initiatives in the sectors that tend to marginalize women as a result of their ‘macho lab coat, hard hat and geek’ workplace cultures.
  • Female start-up activity is on the rise in emerging markets. Despite being ranked as top performers and characterized by overall favorable business environments, opportunity perception is fairly low in the United States and Europe with less than one third of the female population measured identifying business opportunities. In Africa, this number reaches 69 percent. Even with challenges around access to education and capital, female startup activity in the region is high at 86 female to every 100 male startups. Ghana has more female startups than male at a rate of 121 to 100. The Latin American and Caribbean countries included in the Index also exhibit high rates, with a regional average of 84 female to every 100 male startups.
  • More women are needed at the top. Even when the business environment is right, social norms can affect general societal support for women as entrepreneurs and their access to experiences as decision makers and leaders. Local attitudes towards women in executive positions can also effect whether women choose to take on these higher roles and responsibilities. Only five countries have 40 percent or more female managers (Jamaica, Ghana, Panama, United States and Nigeria), and in four countries the percentage of women is 10 percent or less: South Korea (10 percent), Turkey (10 percent), Japan (9 percent) and Pakistan (3 percent). While education forms the foundation for high potential entrepreneurship, management experience provides women with additional skills, experience and networks that facilitate female entrepreneurship success.
  • Women’s rights must be addressed first. In 22 of the 30 countries included in the Index, married women have fewer rights than married men, in 21 countries women lack the same access to employment as men, and in eight countries women do not enjoy the same legal access to property as men. A number of countries also limit women’s access to public spaces through legal restrictions and discriminatory practices. In order to foster female entrepreneurship, these countries must first address these fundamental weaknesses and take steps towards ensuring women equal rights.

About Dell Gender-GEDI Index
The 2014 Gender GEDI Index is sponsored by Dell and includes 30 countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States.

The Index focuses on high potential female entrepreneurs who are defined as ‘innovative, market-expanding and export-oriented.’ The Index combines variables that measure agency and institutions in a composite index in order to capture the multi-dimensional aspects of female entrepreneurship development. Data comes from existing internationally recognized sources such as the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), World Economic Forum (WEF), World Bank, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Labour Organization (ILO), etc. The GEDI Institute is a non-profit research and consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. that assists governments, donor agencies, foundations, international assistance providers, and global companies expand economic opportunities for individuals, build future markets for societies, and propel economic development for nations. It uses an innovative methodology to advance entrepreneurship, thereby accelerating economic growth.

Methodology
The Gender GEDI Index's unique methodology brings together variables that measure individuals and institutions in a composite index that highlights issues relevant for high potential female entrepreneurship development and growth. Thirty individual-level and institutional-level dimensions are paired together into fifteen pillars that are further divided into three main sub-indices: Entrepreneurial Environment, Entrepreneurial Eco-System and Entrepreneurial Aspirations. The novel Penalty for Bottleneck methodology is applied to the pillar scores so that the ‘bottleneck’ (i.e. pillar with the lowest score) penalizes the final country ranking. This approach encourages countries to address their weakest areas first since it will have the greatest effect on their final score.

About Dell
Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. As the visionary outcome of a true entrepreneur, Dell is committed to help power the success of entrepreneurs by developing technology solutions that help their businesses increase productivity and grow. Through the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network, Dell supports and nurtures a community of female entrepreneurs by providing access to knowledge, networks, and capital. Learn more at www.dell.com/women.

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Africa's Women Entrepreneurs Take the Lead

Jun 16, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Article cross-posted from Fin24.com.

Kampala — Madinah Nalukenge recalls the day she set out to sell food on the filthy edges of a bus terminal in the Ugandan capital in 2004. She had just $10 left over from a failed attempt to sell bed sheets.

Now she runs a catering business that makes a monthly profit of up to $3,000, a source of pride for the 34-year-old single mother who spends her days offering plates of mashed plantain and greasy meats to transport operators in downtown Kampala.

"There is a lot of money to be made here," she said recently, her apron bulging with cash. "I need to stay focused."

Her competition: More than a dozen other women operating food stalls next to hers.

Nalukenge, who did not study beyond grade school, is part of a growing trend in Africa where more women are running businesses on a scale that was unthinkable a generation ago. Africa now has the highest growth rate of female-run enterprises across the world, according to the World Bank.

About 63 percent of women in the non-agricultural labor force are self-employed in the informal sector in Africa, more than twice the worldwide rate, according to World Bank data, which also shows that necessity — not opportunity — is the main driving force behind female entrepreneurship in poor countries. Women often start by running informal retail or service businesses, but those who are more ambitious have created thousands of jobs in projects that break stereotypes about what women can do, physically and socially, in societies that are still largely conservative.

"Traditionally women would sit at home and wait for the man to return home with a bag of groceries, but this has been changing over time as women's dependence gradually reduces," said Thomas Bwire, an economist with Uganda's central bank. In a sign of the times, he said, Ugandan women now even work at road construction sites.

There are more women than men working in the informal sector in all of sub-Saharan Africa, according to the International Labor Organization. The UN agency's most recent survey, released last year, noted that this is unlike other regions, including South and East Asia, where informal employment for women tends to be concentrated in home-based, domestic work.

Some of the food vendors in downtown Kampala have remarkably similar accounts of what sparked their entry into private business: Hungry children, unpaid rent and some violent partners.

Most of them have long been single or were recently in failed relationships, an important detail because many insist their businesses are succeeding in part because of their independence on the home front.

Many of the vendors have also enrolled their children in boarding school to make more time for work.

"They don't help and they never want to help," Nalukenge said of her former partners. "Yet even the little you get they want to take away from you. I was alone when I started this business."

Development economists note that if more women are helped to join the labor force, especially through access to credit, they can be a powerful force for global economic growth.

A report released earlier this year by the investment bank Goldman Sachs urged what it called "giving credit where it is due," noting that women's "increased bargaining power has the potential to create a virtuous cycle as female spending supports the development of human capital, which in turn will fuel economic growth in the years ahead."

An estimated $300bn credit gap exists for female-owned enterprises, according to the International Finance Corp of the World Bank, which in March launched a $600m fund to finance women-owned businesses in the developing world. The venture — dubbed the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility — aims to work with local banks in sharing risks and extending credit to 100 000 women entrepreneurs.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, where poverty remains extreme in many parts, stories of successful women entrepreneurs are accumulating. A Kenyan woman, Mary Okello, is feted for starting, inside a three-bedroom house, what has since become a prestigious group of private schools.

In Rwanda, Janet Nkubana has been recognized abroad for running a handicrafts company that employs more than 3 000 women whose baskets can be purchased at Macy's. The Nigerian Adenike Ogunlesi is famous for her "Ruff 'n' Tumble" clothing line for children, a business that she first operated out of a car trunk.

In Uganda, where most of the food is grown locally, many women have been drawn to catering, and their food stalls are ubiquitous at transport terminals and open markets. Unable to get credit from banks, often the women start "cooperative" groups in which they pool savings. Then they take turns getting loans.

"The few who have ventured out have surprised themselves by succeeding," said Ugandan economist Fred Muhumuza, who has been advising Uganda's government on development policy. Rampant poverty, he said, is driving women to find ways of taking over "core family responsibilities" from men.

Nalukenge, the food vendor in downtown Kampala, said she has kept her children in school and now owns two small plots of land.

On a recent evening, as she prepared to clean up and pack her saucepans, she pondered her unlikely journey from failed hawker of bed sheets to successful caterer with a long line of loyal clients.

"We spend a lot of energy here," she said. "There's no resting. But at the end of the day we get our reward."

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Notes from the Field: ICT Innovations Connect Bangladesh’s Women Entrepreneurs

Jun 16, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Cross-posted from The Asia Foundation's In Asia, a weekly publication.

By Syed A. Al-Muti

By 2020, Bangladesh will have a population of 170 million – and half of this population will be made up of women. If the country is to achieve the 8 percent GDP growth it hopes for, making sure that women entrepreneurs are able to reach their full potential and fully contribute to the economy will be essential.

According to an Asia Foundation study of the business environment in Bangladesh, male- operated small and medium sized enterprises (SME) far outnumber those led by women SME entrepreneurs, and only 69 of the 3,800 firms in the sample have at least one female owner. This means that less than 2 percent of firm owners in the country are women.

While women’s contributions have great potential for bolstering the country’s economy, women still face obstacles in accessing finance, information, and access to domestic and international markets, and are insufficiently equipped to face the challenge of finding innovative product solutions. For example, research indicates that women are about 40 percent less likely to use the internet than men, irrespective of income and education status. In this context, providing access to information for women entrepreneurs is a difficult task, but one that can yield enormous benefits.

The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with the country’s second largest telecom operator, Banglalink, is designing an ICT-based solution that capitalizes on the country’s over 100 million phone subscribers to help these entrepreneurs overcome common barriers. Launched at a forum in Dhaka last month, the initiative will connect women entrepreneurs in the rural districts – where the majority of the population still live – by creating a mobile phone-driven network and delivering ICT-based business tools and service. By building a network among themselves, women entrepreneurs will be able to share experiences and gain better access into the booming ICT sector, receive ICT training, and be better prepared to benefit from e-governance initiatives that the government is currently implementing. The project will initially be implemented in four districts – Barisal, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet – with the prospect of later expansion to additional districts.

Thanks to this initiative, a woman thinking of starting a business will be able to reach out to her fellow entrepreneurs at a nearby District Women’s Business Forum (DWBF) and ask for advice on issues such as how to get credit support from a bank or how to deal with difficulties she might face when applying for a trade license. By leveraging this network, women entrepreneurs will be able to create their own virtual marketplace in their district, where they will be able to sell their products to distant parts of the country, thus expanding their businesses and creating more integrated value chains. As well as connecting the women entrepreneurs with each other through voice, SMS, and digital media, the initiative will also include training on specially developed apps that will allow participating women entrepreneurs to showcase their products online and conduct financial transactions with mobile money solutions for seamless transfer of bills and payments.

Although a few e-commerce platforms such as bikroy.com, akhoni.com, and cellbazaar.com have recently gained popularity, none offer dedicated services for women entrepreneurs. Under this initiative, women entrepreneurs will have a dedicated platform (bdwomensme.org) to sell their products and take advantage of the e-marketplace. The ICT training included in this initiative will ensure that the women are trained on the use of the relevant technology and can fully benefit from the project by creating innovative product solutions.

The government has now taken note of both the contribution of women entrepreneurs in the country’s economy and the importance of the use of ICT-based solutions to facilitate their business. The state minister of finance announced the government’s support for affordable access to finance by women SMEs in the upcoming national budget and encouraged the importance of ICT solutions to deliver information and collect feedback on the quality of services.

Changes are coming slowly but surely, but a great deal of work is still required from all the stakeholders involved: the government, civil society, private sector, development organizations, and most importantly – the women entrepreneurs themselves. Through use of technology and smart investment options women entrepreneurs are poised to make a lasting impact on the country’s economy for the better.

Syed A. Al-Muti is The Asia Foundation’s associate director for Economic Development Programs based in Bangladesh. He can be reached at syed.al-muti@asiafoundation.org. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and not necessarily those of The Asia Foundation.

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USAID Promotes Women and Entrepreneurship

Jun 16, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

USAID Press Release

On April 10, 2014, over 120 experts in entrepreneurship participated in a U.S. government-sponsored conference focused on increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in Egypt.

“Entrepreneurship plays a significant role in driving economic growth and job creation,” said Dr. Mary C. Ott, USAID Mission Director in Egypt.  “USAID is working to build the entrepreneurial capacity of women to develop businesses that will generate income for their families and to drive economic growth in Egypt.”

The two-day event is designed to encourage and promote Egyptian women’s participation in entrepreneurial activities.  An action plan for increasing women’s participation in entrepreneurship in Egypt will be developed, proposed, and advanced. The event also includes informative, collaborative sessions where local entrepreneurship leaders and ecosystem stakeholders share lessons learned and help map a path forward that addresses the needs of female entrepreneurs.

The U.S. Government, through USAID, supports Egypt’s economic growth by supporting entrepreneurs and employment creation.  To date, USAID has helped launch 63 start-up companies in Egypt – 18 of which are owned by women – and helped provide new or better full-time employment for over 40,000 people and short-term jobs for another 20,000 workers.

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Highlights from the Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network - Austin 2014

Jun 13, 2014 by atdouglin Comments (0)

Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) is a two-day, invitation-only event that connects female founders, CEOs, and leaders of high-growth businesses in some of the world's top entrepreneurial marketplaces. The conference is a space to share best practices and challenges, and spotlight the positive impact that women-owned businesses have on the global economy. View the video recap of the 2014 conference in Austin, Texas:

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