World Bank Headquarters
Female entrepreneurship has received growing attention in recent years, both at the academic and policy level. The role of women in creating, running, and growing businesses is recognized as fundamental for growth and poverty reduction. However, women entrepreneurs tend to face disproportionately larger obstacles in accessing credit, training, networks and information in addition to barriers in the legal and policy framework and as a result may not achieve the same level of performance as their male counterparts. Why is this the case and what type of interventions are most effective in eliminating those gender-based distortions, in order to offer all entrepreneurs - male and female - the opportunities to make their business prosper? How should projects, interventions, and reforms be designed and who should be in charge of it?
This conference presented the latest findings and evidence on female entrepreneurship, particularly in relation to access to business development services, access to credit, institutional/legal/business environment, and policy reforms. It also presented and discussed projects, initiatives, and policy reforms aimed at supporting female entrepreneurship and employment creation, eliminating or attenuating gender-based obstacles to full inclusion into entrepreneurship, and enhancing growth and poverty reduction.
Registration and breakfast
Opening Remarks, Janamitra Devan, Vice President and Head of Network, Financial and Private Sector Development
Opening Session – Women’s businesses: obstacles and catalysis to growth, policy, research and industry perspective.
Do women's owned small and medium enterprises disproportionately struggle to grow, which ones do succeed, which ones don't? Why is it the case and which interventions would help remove gender-specific obstacles? This opening session discussed the role of women as entrepreneurs as engine for growth globally, what we know so far on the issue, why policy makers and private sector actors should pay attention to women entrepreneurs and where the knowledge gaps are.
· Ana Revenga, Co-Director World Development Report 2012 Gender Equality and Development
· Nancy Lee, Deputy Assistant Secretary Western Hemisphere, Department of US Treasury
· Noa Meyer, Global Program Director for 10,000 Women, Goldman, Sachs & Co
· Deborah Holmes, Global Director, Corporate Responsibility, Ernst & Young
· Piyush Tantia, Research Director - Financial Design, ideas42, IQSS, Harvard University (Paper)
Session 1 - Enabling Environment and Policy Reforms to Support Female Entrepreneurship
This session will discuss the latest work of WBG to support an enabling environment and policy reforms needed to support female entrepreneurship.
· Pierre Guislian, Director, Investment Climate Department
· Mary Hallward-Driemeier “Expanding Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs in Africa” (PPT 354KB)
· Sarah Iqbal, “Women, Business and the Law” (PPT 903KB) | (Website)
· Sevi Simavi, “Gender Dimensions of Investment Climate Reform” (PPT 1860 KB)
Session 2 - Training, skill upgrading, and support to micro-small entrepreneurs
This session will discuss the role of training and business development services to support female entrepreneurs, new research in this area and emerging findings from the operational work.
· Pierella Paci, Sector Manager, Gender and Development Unit, World Bank
· Louise Fox (Lead Economist, Sub-Saharan Africa region, PREM, World Bank) “Training, skill upgrading, and support to micro-small entrepreneurs” (PPT 91KB)
· Michel M. Botzung, (Senior Operations Officer, Sustainable Business Advisory) "How to unlock another emerging market - Women Entrepreneurs / The experience of IFC's SME Solutions" (PPT 2336KB) | Video | Website
· Martin Valdivia (Senior Researcher, Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo) “Business Training for Female Entrepreneurs in Peru: an Impact Evaluation” (PPT 157KB) | (Paper PDF 317KB)
· Claudia Piras (Lead Social Development Economist, Inter-American Development Bank – IDB) “Chile Emprendedoras: Promoting Women in Dynamic Business” (PPT 3245KB)
- Programa Formacion de Directoras de Empresas (PDF 250KB)
- Estudio Rol de la Mujer en la Gran Empresa (PDF 130KB)
- Chileemprendedoras Importancia Redes para el Ecosistema (PDF 210KB)
- Capital de Riesgo (PDF 97KB)
- Video: Program a Chile Emprendedoras
Session 3 - Women in Trade and Supply Chains
This session will discuss the role of women in trade and global supply chains; what is the role of governments and private sector to support women entrepreneurs so they have access to increased opportunities and resources.
· Monika Weber-Fahr, Senior Manager, Sustainable Business Advisory Department, IFC Advisory Services
· Sarah Thorn, Senior Director, Federal Government Relations, Walmart “Global Corporate initiative to support female entrepreneurship” (PPT 1759KB)
· Radha Muthiah, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, CARE "Partnerships to Empower Women in the Agribusiness Value Chain" (PPT 3784KB)
· Alejandra Eguiluz Zamora, Integration and Trade specialist, IADB
"First approach to gender mainstreaming. The Handicraft Exports Program in Cusco, Perú" (PPT 699KB)
Session 4 - Access to Finance and New Technologies
This session will discuss opportunities and challenges for women’s access to finance.
· Marilou Uy, Director, Financial and Private Sector Development, Sub-Saharan Africa, World Bank
· Zouera Youssoufou (Head, Women in Business, IFC) “Gender, finance, and banking” (PPT 1050KB)
· Piyush Tantia (Research Director, ideas42) “Keeping it simple: The results of rule of thumb based financial literacy training on business outcomes and savings” (PPT 453KB) | Website
· Leonardo Iacovone (Economist, Finance and Private Sector Development, Central and West Africa, World Bank) “Gender and Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Are Women Disadvantaged?” (PPT 295KB) | Paper