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Engendering Growth: Cultivating the Ecosystem of Support for Women Business Owners

January 28, 2014

This document presents Vital Voices and its partner associations have mapped the ecosystem of support that is currently available for women-owned businesses from the perspective of businesswomen's associations (BWAs) in 21 countries. Through this process, Vital Voices and BWAs identified strengths, gaps, and opportunities for action to support women business owners that exist at the regional, country, and global levels. Drawing from Vital Voices' partnership with these BWAs in Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa, including an ecosystem mapping exercise and member survey, this report identifies specific areas in which ecosystem actors may support women business owners; provides actionable context and guidance - a roadmap - for organizations that aspire to greater global leadership and impact within the women's economic empowerment space; and encourages ecosystem actors to explore new and innovative partnerships while also considering additional stakeholders to bring to the table and include in strategic investment decisions.

A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment

January 1, 2013

This document summarizes findings of 18 research studies commissioned across 4 categories (entrepreneurship, farming, wage employment, young women's employment) to find out what works to empower women, for whom (categories of women), and where (country scenarios). The Roadmap is designed to guide investments from private sector and public-private partnerships, and highlights 9 proven, 9 promising, and 6 high-potential interventions to increase women's productivity and earnings in developing countries.

Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs

May 10, 2012

Examines the potential for mobile value-added services adoption by women entrepreneurs in Egypt, Nigeria, and Indonesia in expanding their micro businesses; challenges, such as access to digital channels; and the need for services tailored to women.

Invisible Market: Energy and Agricultural Technologies for Women's Economic Advancement

January 1, 2012

This research explores what it takes for technology initiatives, specifically in the energy and agricultural sectors, to reach and economically benefit women in developing countries through market-based strategies that have the potential for achieving scale and financial sustainability. It builds on ICRW's landmark paper, Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically, which made the case for how technologies can create pathways for strengthening women's economic opportunities. Through a field-level investigation and interviews with experts, the authors examine how women's use of technology and their involvement in the development and distribution of a technology can not only advance women economically, but also can benefit enterprise-based technology initiatives by expanding their markets and helping them generate greater financial returns.

Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically

January 1, 2010

This paper looks at ways technology has facilitated the economic advancement of poorer women in developing countries and explores what needs to happen to trigger wider economic advancement. The paper begins by introducing a conceptual framework that shows how integrating the needs of women to the technology development lifecycle can trigger a chain of events that leads to economic advancement and, eventually, to wider social and economic benefits. Next, it uses data from a literature review, in-depth case studies, and interviews with experts in the field to examine the lessons of technologies introduced in the past and discusses the common characteristics and effective strategies of successful initiatives. It closes with specific recommendations on better ways to develop, introduce, and disseminate technologies?both new and already existing?that could help low- and middle-income womenworldwide, particularly in developing countries, to advance economically. While the paper and the recommendations focus on the level of technology initiatives, the conclusion also includes an overview of complementary policy-level recommendations.