Women's Entrepreneurship Diagnostic

Comments (0)
Anastasia de Santos
Date Published:
August 28, 2013

The Women’s Entrepreneurship Diagnostic incorporates USAID’s increasing focus on evidence-based policy-making to improve aid effectiveness, following the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness as well as the policy focus on inclusive growth following the 2010 Presidential Policy Directive for Global Development. At the same time, aspiring women entrepreneurs face different barriers than do their male counterparts, warranting tailored designs for them. As with other development objectives, one key step to better designed programming is identifying the most binding constraints to the outcome, i.e. those constraints that, if overcome, will unleash the greatest impact. This diagnostic concludes with a prioritized short list of binding constraints, rather than a laundry list of all and sundry symptoms visible among would-be women entrepreneurs.

The diagnostic concludes with a prioritized short list of binding constraints by applying the Hausmann, Rodrik, and Velasco (HRV) decisional framework, best known for its role in Growth Diagnostics. These are most likely not the same binding constraints that one would find for overall growth and private investment in the country, nor for women’s economic empowerment. They represent only those constraints related to gender gaps in SME entrepreneurship in the country.

USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment authored this rigorous but adaptable tool to effectively integrate focus on women’s entrepreneurship into Missions’ SME programming. This light-footprint tool is for USAID staff or implementing partners designing such program integration—at the Project Appraisal Document gender analysis stage or after the award has been made—as the primary activity or as part of a larger economic growth activity. Of course, others can use the tool as well. Please see an example of the Liberia report here.

For questions or comments, please email Anastasia de Santos at

Filed Under: Tool