Gender equality in the Caribbean is extremely positive. However, there is still one area of the playing field that remains to be leveled. InfoDev’s Eleanor Ereira discusses in her blog why women have not yet reached heights in entrepreneurship.Read the blog
Kate Mahugu, cofounder of Shopsoko made quite an impression when she was in Washington, DC for our 2013 Mobile Startup Camp. She not only impressed infoDev but has caught the attention of global corporations and well-established organizations. There's no stopping her as she's determined to let others know about local artisans in developing countries.
infoDev’s latest Annual Report highlights all the projects and activities implemented to support the high-growth oriented entrepreneur and the innovative enterprise. These are the ones who can scale up, create jobs, and positively impact their communities. Thanks to generous donor contributions and effective collaboration with the World Bank Group, over the past two years, infoDev has seen a tremendous expansion in operations, into more than 100 countries.
In their ongoing efforts to develop the products they showcased at our Mobile Startup Camp last November, three African women entrepreneurs headed to Nairobi to expand their roster of contacts at Mobile East Africa 2014.
Three out of every four poor people in developing countries live in rural areas, and most of them depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. In many parts of the world, women are the main farmers or producers, but their roles remain largely unrecognized. The 2008 World Development Report: Agriculture for Development highlights the vital role of agriculture in sustainable development and its importance in achieving the Millennium Development Goal of halving by 2015 the share of people suffering from extreme poverty and hunger. Gender inequalities limit agricultural productivity and efficiency and in so doing, undermine development agendas. Failure to recognize the different roles of men and women in costly because it results in misguided projects and programs, forgone agricultural output and incomes, and food and nutrition insecurity. This Sourcebook is a joint project of the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Women, Business and the Law, a publication of the World Bank Group, presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. It is hoped this resource will inform research and policy discussions on how to improve women’s economic opportunities and outcomes.
This essay discusses the potential of ICTs for ensuring gender equity as well as the policy level decisions required to mainstream gender in the initiatives and schemes formulated by the government.
InfoDev's Women's Entrepreneurship Program
Across the developing world, women business owners are far more prevalent at the informal and micro-scale than small and medium sized enterprises, which are often run by men. This is due to a number of complex reasons, such as traditional women’s roles and cultural attitudes. It is also because entrepreneurial women running promising companies with the potential to scale lack the autonomy, finance, and skills necessary to expand their businesses.
infoDev seeks to promote the role of women as entrepreneurs who establish companies, spur innovation, create jobs, and drive the charge toward gender equality in the developing world. We support incubation centers and social networking groups convening female innovators and technologists. Of our global business incubation network, 127 centers have executed programs specifically providing support to women entrepreneurs.
Several activities of our Women’s Entrepreneurship Program are funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland under the Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy Program. Under this program, and through its Agribusiness Innovation Centers, infoDev will increase agricultural productivity and add commercial value to agricultural products. This program will benefit mostly women working in agribusiness and food processing. More recently, activities benefitting female entrepreneurs are also implemented under the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean, financed by the government of Canada, and in the mobile innovation program, supported by the Swedish International Development Agency.
Our Women’s Entrepreneurship program helps growth-oriented, women-led SMEs scale up their businesses by eroding the barriers they face. We do this in the following ways:
- Supporting women entrepreneurs throughout the infoDev Global Incubator Network by integrating gender-sensitive elements to all our programs;
- Improving access to finance for women-led, growth-oriented ventures;
- Showcasing successful women entrepreneurs; and
- Piloting new regional approaches to business support.
For a deeper look at our Women's Entrepreneurship Program, check out its chapter in our Work Program.