Theme
Gender

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Business startup and growth is an important pathway to industry leadership and the
creation of personal wealth, as well as a key source of job creation, innovation and
economic growth. In this sense, women’s entrepreneurship can provide a means to
more rapidly advance gender equality in industries, communities and countries around
the world. The GEM 2020 Adult Population Survey ran from April through August
2020 and offered an important opportunity to examine pandemic impacts on women
entrepreneurs, in addition to an analysis of global trends. This year, we also invited GEM
researchers from around the world to contribute chapters on women’s entrepreneurship.
This year’s GEM Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Report has three main aims:
1. Identify key gender differences and similarities in business stages and
motivations. We identify countries and regions where gender gaps may be
significant and where they may be closing. All of these trends are considered across
countries, geographic regions and levels of national income.
2. Examine the structural and cultural factors that influence women’s
entrepreneurship. This analysis includes demographic characteristics (age,
education, household income), business characteristics and cultural factors,
such as cultural perceptions and high-growth activities that influence women’s
entrepreneurship in complex ways across regions, countries and levels of national
income.
3. Analyse how women entrepreneurs were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In doing this analysis of the pandemic’s impact, we allow comparisons across the
country and regional contexts, taking into account the level of income by country as
an important indicator of economic development.
Our findings offer insights to a diverse audience of researchers, policymakers, educators
and practitioners. Our ultimate goal is to highlight areas where there are still gaps,
challenges and opportunities, where women entrepreneurs have made significant
progress and where the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their business performance and
perceptions.

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As investors with experience in gender lens investing (GLI), our peers often ask us for information on how to start their GLI journey. Many useful resources are available to do this. However, this brief addresses a gap in information on the tools and approaches used to design and implement gender-smart technical assistance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to improve their social and financial performance. We also share our reflections from our collective experience to date.

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Is there a gender gap in financing Africa’s early-stage ventures? And are there differences between female and male founders—such as the sectors they choose, or the ambitions they have—that could explain divergent funding paths? As start-up financing in Africa keeps climbing to new records, these questions are becoming more urgent. To find answers, we leveraged Briter Bridges’ leading industry platform to comb through years of deal flow data and surveyed a random sample of 172 entrepreneurs operating across the continent.

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"This report was commissioned as a product of the working partnership between Root Capital and Value for Women, with the support of the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs and the International Development Research Center. The main objective of this partnership is to build evidence around innovations for gender inclusion within small- and medium-sized agricultural enterprises globally."

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"This tool has been developed for businesses to allow them to directly enter data, in order to assess their business operations from a gender perspective at three levels: human capital, productivity management, and market. The tool will walk businesses through a three-step process to collect data about where women are within agribusiness operations, provide a report analyzing the data showing gender gaps in women and men participation as employees and suppliers, as well as highlighting the policies, practices and systems that should be in place for a business to support gender inclusion. Finally, the report will provide recommendations on action steps businesses can take towards increasing women's inclusion across core business areas."

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"Today India, and the world, finds itself in the unenvious position of enduring two major economic recessions in a span of 10-12 years, unprecedented in modern history. In the aftermath of COVID-19, which has hit the small enterprise sector the hardest, where a majority of women-led ventures are recorded, it has become imperative to actively find avenues to encourage sustainable growth. This report delves deep into the various factors and circumstances inhibiting the growth of women-led enterprises, and further explores how women entrepreneurship can be encouraged while also being a force of change. Through various articles mentioned in this collection, which are based on original research studies conducted in this area during the pandemic, we seek to provide a snapshot of the existing obstacles, but also the way forward in promoting women entrepreneurship, which can be a major contributor in the socio-economic recovery of India."

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"Globally, the literature on public sector experiences with GRP is limited. This report aims to contribute to the current knowledge base on how governments can better support women entrepreneurs and WLBs who seek to sell to the government. Most of the examples and case studies in this report come specifically from Chile, the Dominican Republic, and the City of Buenos Aires, which have developed GRP programs and are at different stages of implementation."

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"In collaboration with Google, this report presents four opportunities for unlocking the potential of female entrepreneurship in India: 1) Level the playing field for the high-impact, employment-creating entrepreneurs; 2) Enable ambitious “solopreneurs” and small business owners to scale and become high-impact entrepreneurs; 3) Encourage more women to start enterprises; 4) Build, strengthen and scale productive rural “agripreneurs.”

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"Now in its third year, the annual Mastercard Index of Women in Entrepreneurs (MIWE) continues to provide invaluable insights into the progress and achievemens of women in business. Despite many challenges, female entrepreneurs are opening successful businesses faster than ever before, and MIWE brings to the forefront the broad set of variables propelling this dynamism, globally."

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"We initiated this study to identify demand-led macro unlocks that can drive growth for urban women (primarily the homepreneur segment), taking the lens of mass entrepreneurship. The intent was to present opportunities to ecosystem stakeholders, such that innovation, interventions, policies and business models can emerge that can lead to a conducive environment creating a path to bringing more women into the labour force in India."

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