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Rwanda

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November 29, 2021
Aspen Institute

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) today announced that three organizations in Africa have been selected to receive funds under the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs (AWCE) Fund.

The AWCE Fund, an activity under the Accelerating Women Climate Entrepreneurs project, aims to contribute to poverty reduction and respond to climate change by identifying and promoting good practices to support women entrepreneurs in climate-related value chains. The AWCE project also places an emphasis on developing a road map for international development stakeholders to provide further gender-responsive support to women climate entrepreneurs and intermediaries.

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"This research is unique as it is one of few studies that looks at women entrepreneurs from a regional perspective, to assess similarities and differences in how women entrepreneurs are coping with financial and non-financial barriers to growth in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda respectively. The study also establishes how these women currently fund their businesses, explores attitudes to different types of financing to expand their enterprises and reveals the funding gaps and capacity building needs."

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"This study estimates that social enterprises could create more than 1 million additional jobs by 2030 in the 12 focus countries that have been analyzed. Overall, this would result in a total of approximately 5.5 million direct jobs in social enterprises in 2030. These jobs would be created in existing markets, but also for new markets, thus creating new value chains and many more indirect income opportunities in these countries. The implementation of the interventions recommended in this report are thus an important action to prepare the African continent on future demographic dynamics. In addition, they can also be seen as an important contribution to preserve jobs that have been put at risk because of COVID-19."

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"This report is part of a wider study that aims to unpack the contribution of Gender Lens Investing in women’s economic empowerment, and builds on the existing literature on the understanding of the finance gap for women-owned enterprises in developing countries. It is based on insights gathered from 200+ women entrepreneurs across Kenya, Rwanda, India and Indonesia. While analysing the factors affecting access to finance for women entrepreneurs, the report touches upon its effect on their lives in terms of impact on their agency, bargaining power, ability to challenge patriarchal attitudes, and financial independence, through examples. The report posits a segmentation framework to bring out the differentiated characteristics, needs and challenges of women-owned businesses businesses."

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"We organise a field experiment with smallholder farmers in Rwanda to measure the impact of financial literacy training on financial knowledge and behaviour. The training increased financial literacy of participants, changed their savings and borrowing behaviour and had a positive effect on the new business start-up. However, it failed to have a significant (short-term) impact on income. Using a two-stage regression framework, we identify enhanced financial literacy as one of the important factors explaining behavioural changes. We also test whether financial knowledge spillovers from trained farmers to their peers in local village banks but find no evidence for that."

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"This legal guide provides an overview of legal issues and requirements for impact investors and social entrepreneurs who are entering into business in East Africa. Without a better understanding of the regional context, the legal process can often be poorly suited for specific markets and take months and incur substantial expenses for investors and businesses. Understanding the local legal environment streamlines the due diligence process and improves the ongoing viability, sustainability, and growth potential of investments."

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