Mainstreaming GLI An Assessment of Women Owned Enterprises in Developing Countries

This report is part of a wider study that aims to unpack the contribution of Gender Lens Investing in women’s economic empowerment, and builds on the existing literature on the understanding of the finance gap for women-owned enterprises in developing countries. It is based on insights gathered from 200+ women entrepreneurs across Kenya, Rwanda, India and Indonesia.

While analysing the factors affecting access to finance for women entrepreneurs, the report touches upon its effect on their lives in terms of impact on their agency, bargaining power, ability to challenge patriarchal attitudes, and financial independence, through examples. The report posits a segmentation framework to bring out the differentiated characteristics, needs and challenges of women-owned businesses businesses.

The report concludes by building on the existing toolkits and guidance documents enabling GLI to put forth a framework of questions that can help financial institutions become more aware of their level of preparedness for targeting women entrepreneurs.

This study was carried out with the grant support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada.