April 25

Report: The Capital Women Need, for the Future We All Need

By Melinda French Gates

For nearly two and a half decades, I’ve had the privilege of meeting women from across the world and speaking to them about their dreams and challenges. Through that experience, I’ve learned that if you want to understand the realities of someone’s life, the best thing to do is ask them questions. That’s why, as part of our work to expand women’s economic power, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently commissioned a survey asking more than 200,000 women in Kenya and Nigeria about their greatest economic ambition.

The number one answer we heard, across both countries, was that women wanted to own or expand a business. Their individual dreams were wide-ranging: Some wanted to open clothing boutiques; others wanted to expand their restaurants. But when we asked them what was standing in the way of those dreams, nearly two-thirds had the exact same answer: They couldn’t get the startup capital and equipment they needed.

Photo courtesy of UN Women.

Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, gender equality, gender lens, research, startups, women entrepreneurs