Making the Business Case: Women's Economic Empowerment in Market Systems Development

  • Date Posted: March 30, 2015
  • Authors: Erin Markel; Rachel Hess; Helen Loftin
  • Organizations: MarketShare Associates; MEDA; ACDI/VOCA
  • Document Types: Evidence or Research, Evidence or Research
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency

Evidence shows that giving poor women the means to improve their incomes and the power to make decisions has a catalyzing impact within their households, their communities, and beyond. The USAID-funded Leveraging Economic Opportunities (LEO) activity seeks to build upon these efforts by demonstrating how business practices that are inclusive of women are good for business and social change.

This paper is based on extensive research and interviews and provides the rationale that market systems facilitation practitioners can use to engage private sector firms in efforts to empower women. From identifying partners to articulating the mutually beneficial value of women's inclusion, the paper offers guidance and real-world examples to help companies empower women working at every level of the economy.