Resource: Working with the Private Sector to Empower Women: What to Measure and How to Build the Business Case for Change

  • Date Posted: July 8, 2019
  • Authors: Marketlinks Team
  • Document Types: Primer or Brief
  • Donor Type: Non-US Government Agency


Photo: Women in the department of Di, Burkina Faso, transplant onion seedlings. Photo by Jake Lyell.
Women in the department of Di, Burkina Faso, transplant onion seedlings. Photo by Jake Lyell.

This brief was originally posted by The SEEP Network and was authored by Julia Hakspiel from Arab Women's Enterprise Fund (AWEF) & MarketShare Associates.

This AWEF Practitioner Learning Brief provides a practical framework for development actors on how to develop a robust business case for private sector companies on the commercial value of empowering women.  

The private sector is an essential partner for promoting and making women’s economic empowerment possible. By adopting business practices that include, support, and take greater consideration of women as workers, consumers, producers and suppliers, firms can not only make an important contribution to women’s economic empowerment, but also expand their market, achieve greater business efficiency, and improve their bottom line. A business case can help firms understand why women’s inclusion and empowerment should matter to them, and is important for their mission and values, business model and to their stakeholders.

Building on the direct experience from implementing the DFID-funded Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund (AWEF) over the last four years, as well as case studies from the wider practitioner community, the Brief presents a range of business frameworks, approaches, tools, data and metrics that can be used to build a compelling business case to the private sector. It does this with reference to the role of women as workers, consumers, and suppliers or producers, and draws out examples linked to experience in particular sectors and value chains. This Brief presents a practical and pragmatic approach to business case development based on theory, principles and real-world learning.

Access and download the full report below. 

The SEEP Network hosted a related webinar on July 24th at 8:30 am EDT.

Julia Hakspiel is a Learning Manager at the  Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund and a Management Consultant at MarketShare Associates.