Reading on women’s entrepreneurship

Women Entrepreneurs: An Action Plan to 'Build Back Better', developed by ITC, is a plan that supports policymakers, business and women’s economic empowerment networks identify key trends and potential scenarios for women in trade. The publication presents nine actions that governments, corporations and the global community can take to ensure that ‘building back better’ unlocks women’s entrepreneurship and results in more equal and sustainable societies. These actions include strategies to boost women’s participation in corporate and government procurement markets, devise financing and business support options that match the needs of small women-led firms and provide targeted training to promote resilience and competitiveness.

The ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development programme (ILO-WED) works to empower budding and existing women entrepreneurs who want to start, run and grow their business and to create conducive conditions for inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies. It does so by addressing gender imbalances in enterprise development in order to scale women entrepreneurs’ contributions to growth and sustainable development and to enable their meaningful participation in entrepreneurship ecosystems. ILO-WED uses a human-centered, systemic and integrated approach built around a set of tested tools to implement targeted actions to empower women entrepreneurs, helping them to secure a decent job for themselves and for others and to overcome barriers to developing productive and sustainable businesses.

The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) conducts pioneering research to improve conditions for women throughout a major corporate supply chain, from garment factory to retail floor. For example, the ICRW has produced a study on field-based assessment of gender related issues in select MSME clusters to identify challenges and opportunities for inclusion of women in higher numbers and at higher levels of growth in the MSME sector. The study findings help inform the Government of India on policy for more inclusive growth of the MSME sector, especially towards strengthening gender equality and economic empowerment of women in the sector. The link to the study as follows:

Lastly, ESCAP’s Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship programme aims to advance women entrepreneurship and market participation in the Asia-Pacific region, resulting in poverty reduction, improved livelihoods and economic growth. The programme works to create an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs to effectively start-up and/or expand their businesses. The programme takes a facilitative approach to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem, by enhancing women entrepreneurs’ access and use of financial services; strengthening women entrepreneurs’ use of ICT and digital solutions to support their business; and through policy and advocacy initiatives.