Effectiveness of Entrepreneurship Development for Women - ILO/WED 2014
In a joint effort between the International Labor Organisation and the Women's Economic Development organisation, this document found the following key findings:
- There is little rigorous evidence that either access to finance alone, particularly in small amounts, or business training alone leads to sustained business growth among women’s microenterprises.
- Interventions that combine finance (especially grants) and business training, although more costly, seem to be more effective in supporting women’s business start-up than either finance or business training alone.
- There is early evidence that business training combined with follow-up technical assistance, and business grants together with business training, albeit more expensive, may be effective in supporting the business growth of existing female entrepreneurs.
- Overall, there is more rigorous evidence that entrepreneurship programs have been effective in stimulating the creation of women’s new microenterprises than in supporting the growth of women’s existing businesses, although this is likely due in part to methodological limitations of evaluation designs.
- To effectively support the business success of women entrepreneurs at the microenterprise level, WED interventions should address more barriers to women’s entrepreneurship beyond limited access to finance and business skills.
These could be valuable lessons for any project seeking to maximise its efficiency in promoting women entrepreneurship.