New Report Released on Investment in Women-led Business
Monday, September 30, 2013
UK-based Social enterprise Value for Women released a new research report this week detailing the problems of under-investment in women-led small and growing businesses. The report is the culmination of five months of research conducted in collaboration with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), BiD Network, ING Bank Sustainability, and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.
The report and accompanying video were launched this week at the ANDE Annual Conference in Glen Cove, NY, and are now available at Beyond the Threshold: Investing in Women-led Small and Growing Businesses.
Value for Women’s unique research approach engages key players throughout the process, encouraging them to develop solutions during the data collection period. The process included a literature review, expert interviews, focus group discussions, surveys, and ecosystem design workshops. The result is a set of findings on the barriers to investment in women-led small businesses and practical recommendation for actors including banks, impact investors, capacity developers, and associations like ANDE.
One of the program sponsors, Maarten de Jongh, commented on the importance of the research: “ING Bank Sustainability is proud to have sponsored this research because we see women in business as significant contributors to growth in the developing world.” Indeed, evidence for the importance of supporting women entrepreneurs is mounting. Organizations like the International Finance Corporation and World Bank have noted the significant percentage of small and medium enterprises in the developing world led by women—around 35%—as well as the gaps in investment and slower growth paths for these potential employment generators. The report provides further insight into this phenomenon, as well as a wealth of ideas for ways to address the critical gender-related barriers to economic growth and development.
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