Caren Grown is Senior Gender Advisor in the Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning, where she leads USAID’s efforts to integrate gender equality and female empowerment throughout the agency’s policies and programs. Dr. Grown is on leave as Economist-In-Residence at American University, where she also co-directed the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics. Formerly, she was Senior Scholar and Co-Director of the Gender Equality and Economy Program at The Levy Economics Institute at Bard College and Director of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Governance team at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She is the author of several books on gender issues in trade, public finance, and development, and her articles have appeared in World Development, Journal of International Development, Feminist Economics, Health Policy and Planning, and The Lancet.
Kanwal Bokharey is the Economic Growth Advisor in USAID’s Islamabad office in Pakistan. She is the CoR of the USAID Firms Project, which works to develop a dynamic, internationally competitive SME sector in Pakistan with a focus on women. Her role includes engaging with women SMEs, working with the Pakistani Women Chapter of Commerce and Industry, and overseeing the initiative to make the National SME Policy more gender sensitive. Bokharey has 22 years of experience working in policy as well as strategic and operational levels in national and international development agencies and the private sector. She has been involved in advocating for women and youth rights, including at the Fourth Conference on Women in Beijing, the UK House of Commons, and European Parliament. Bokharey is the recipient of three consecutive Common Wealth Awards for successfully designing and implementing nationwide projects in the areas of women and youth development.
Andrew Baird is the Director of the Economic Growth Program Area at RTI International. As a private sector development specialist, he provides technical support in the areas of entrepreneurship, workforce development, agricultural enterprises, small and microenterprise development, and youth. Baird has more than twenty years of experience in private sector-led strategies to create broad-based employment and livelihoods opportunities in Africa, the Middle East, Europe/Eurasia, and Asia. He has extensive experience designing and implementing entrepreneurship and business development programs that target women and youth in the MENA and Africa regions. Baird is recognized for his facilitation skills and is often called upon to contribute to the design and implementation strategies of economic growth initiatives. He has held leadership positions in a range of organizations in the field and home offices of RTI International, Making Cents, Chemonics International, and the Peace Corps.
USAID partners with countries which have unique cultural and economic challenges, where a range of approaches have evolved for women seeking to start or grow their businesses into small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In this seminar, Caren Grown of USAID will moderate a panel discussion with Kanwal Bokharey of USAID/Pakistan and Andrew Baird of RTI on their experiences supporting women’s leadership in SMEs in Pakistan and Jordan, and challenges and lessons learned for similar contexts. Kanwal manages USAID’s FIRMS project in Pakistan, and Andrew worked on the Women’s Access to Entrepreneurship Development and Training (WAEDAT) activity under USAID’s Achievement of Market-Friendly Initiatives and Results II (AMIR II) project in Jordan. Following presentations by the panelists, there will be a moderated discussion, with both the in-person and webinar audiences.
This seminar is the second in the series, “Growing Economies Through Women’s Entrepreneurship”, which looks at the constraints women face in owning and managing SMEs in developing countries, and approaches for overcoming them.