Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Women’s Leadership in Small & Medium Enterprises (WLSME)

Three female farm workers, Kusum, Suresh and Simla

USAID's Women's Leadership in Small & Medium Enterprises (WLSME) initiative expanded the frontiers of this field to generate new learning about which interventions for women's entrepreneurship in SMEs work best in different developing country contexts. The resources on this site cover the external constraints, human capital constraints, information and network constraints, and risk challenges that businesswomen face.

Disparities in initial resource endowments of men- and women-led firms, sector sorting into low productivity activities, social norms, and institutional arrangements, constrain the growth of women-led enterprises.
This project conducts critical research and learning activities to disseminate and share with the development community to examine how women leaders of small businesses can better engage in the cashew value chain.
A new report by Babson College on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative has found that training and education for women entrepreneurs positively affect emerging economies by increasing revenues and creating jobs.
Across a wide spectrum of society, there is growing recognition of the central role that women play in the world economy.
There are numerous projects and programs focusing on female entrepreneurship worldwide, yet there were no measures available to compare countries according to the same metrics. The Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) was created to fill this gap.
Women’s World Banking (WWB) finally closed its first private equity fund to invest in microfinance enterprises that support women.
The SME Survey 2014, an annual study of factors behind the success of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, has found that a small business owned by a woman has a better chance of being profitable than one run by a man.
Equity-based crowdfunding emerges as a promising opportunity to empower female entrepreneurship and to emancipate investment.
About 63 percent of women in the non-agricultural labor force are self-employed in the informal sector in Africa, more than twice the worldwide rate, according to World Bank data.
According to an Asia Foundation study of the business environment in Bangladesh, male- operated small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) far outnumber those led by women SME entrepreneurs, and only 69 of the 3,800 firms in the sample have at least one female owner.
USAID press release: Entrepreneurship plays a significant role in driving economic growth and job creation.
The Gender-GEDI Index provides key insights designed to help countries advance female entrepreneurship and ultimately bolster the global economy.
Development finance institutions – such as the International Finance Corporation and Britain's CDC – play a significant role in early stage SME financing while laying the foundation for other forms of investment.
Women entrepreneurs in Africa have historically had more limited business networks than men. With advances in technology reaching around the world, there is a growing opportunity to use technology to break this divide.
Research suggesting that certain entrepreneurial mindsets and skills can be learned has given rise to the field of entrepreneurship education and training (EET).
On March 5-10, 2014, USAID’s Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) program is sponsoring the 8th National Garment Trade Fair “Fashion Industry 2014: Manufactures and Equipment” hosted by the Association of Light Industry Enterprises.
Investing in women and girls is one of the highest return opportunities available in the developing world, as a wide range of economic research shows.
This article was cross-posted from www.marcopolis.net . Interview with Meaza Ashenafi, Chairperson of Enat Bank. 1. What is your overview of the banking sector and what is your outlook for 2014 and onward? In Ethiopia, private banks started to flourish since 1994. Before 1994, there were no private...
Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo (GRADE) and Sector3 Social Venture Group have partnered in Peru to implement the Women Entrepreneurs Leading Development project (WELD).
The Pakistan Firms Project is helping increase the profitability and incomes of small and medium­sized enterprises in vulnerable areas.