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close this bookPromoting Women's Entrepreneurship Development Based on Good Practice Programmes: Some Experiences from the North to the South - Working Paper N° 9 (ILO, 2001, 107 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentFOREWORD
View the documentGENDER LEXICON
View the documentEXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Open this folder and view contents1. INTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contents3. PROMOTION OF MICRO AND SMALL ENTERPRISE
Open this folder and view contents6. CONCLUSION
View the documentAPPENDIX 2: CASE STUDIES
View the documentBIBLIOGRAPHY
View the documentSEED WORKING PAPERS




General Issues

Gender Issues

(Dawson 1997; Loucks 1999)

· Granting of very small loans

· Generally no collateral requirement

· Provided to individuals or groups

· Started in developing country context

· Group loans tend to be small

· Group-based lending often organized and controlled by group members

· Market interest rates should be charged

· Impacts may only be short-term and marginal if credit is not invested in productivity enhancing goods

· Group-based lending is said to have empowerment implications for women

· Women tend to request smaller loans, but only receive small loans no matter what they request

· There are non-financial impacts on women, such as time pressure for repayments, control over resources, etc.

Loan guarantee
(OECD 1998a; OECD 1996)

· Another means of accessing credit

· Public or private sector organization guarantees percentage of formal sector loan against default by MSE owner

· Reduces perceived risks to formal lenders associated with microlending

· Gives microentrepreneurs access to formal financial sector

· Delivery should be simple and transparent

· Deadweight and displacement effects possible

· Deadweight effects can decrease programme outreach, reducing women's access to credit as they may have fewer alternative financing sources

· May provide women with greater access to formal channels of funding

Training (ILO 1998; Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development 1998; Richardson and Hartshorn 1993; Easwaran 1992; Employment NOW Commuity Initiative 1998; European Commission 1998; Edgcomb, Klein et al 1996; OECD 1998b; The European Observatory for SMEs 1996)

· Provision of general business skills and/or skills more particular to an industry

· Training programmes can include business planning, costing, financial management, marketing, sourcing inputs, etc.

· Training can also cover entrepreneurship development, involving confidence building, etc.

· Programme design should include needs-based assessments involving participants, so it is demand led

· Training is one of the most common business development services provided

· A modular approach to training programme design is good. It offers core courses, then allows clients to select other courses suiting their needs

· Potential for sustainability, depending on the (direct) contribution of training to clients' profitability.

· Women have different training needs in terms of course content, scheduling, length and delivery

· Personal development should be included along with business skills so women begin to perceive themselves as MSE owners and gain confidence in their abilities

· Programme designers must be aware of women's multiple roles; programmes should be scheduled when women are likely to be free

· Participatory techniques and incremental learning using female instructors are good teaching models for reaching female MSE owners

Counselling/consultancy (Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development 1998; Tanburn 1998; OECD 1998b)

· Individually based services where clients receive help on problems specific to their businesses

· One-on-one provision can be effective but expensive; volunteers can be used when possible

· Clients must be comfortable with the consultants, who may be very different from themselves

· If more general issues are raised during sessions, group-based services may help the client more and be more cost efficient

· Attention must be paid to hiring female consultants, avoiding a male environment and providing services sensitive to women's needs; gender training of consultants should be done

· Individual attention can benefit women if consultants are open to the different needs and goals women may have

Mentoring (OECD 1997; Employment NOW Community Initiative 1998)

· Individual or group-based assistance directed at specific problems with the MSE

· Based on a longer term relationship with the mentor compared to consultancies or networks

· Can be tailored to client needs and therefore can have high effectiveness and impact

· Form of knowledge transfer

· Can be costly in terms of mentors' time and fees

· Requires careful matching of mentor and mentee, recruitment of quality mentors and constant monitoring

· Female mentors must be recruited; they should also have gender training

· Mentors can serve as role models

· Female mentors can help with advice on balancing work and family, childcare, etc

· Group-based programmes may provide women with networking and empowerment opportunities

Information/networks (Committee of Donor Agencies for Small Enterprise Development 1998; Barton and Bear 1999)

· Information is a key resource for MSE owners; it can relate to markets, new suppliers, costs and technology

· Networks are relations with others in the business community; they are one way to access information

· Many MSE owners do not recognize the need for information

· Support programmes must raise awareness about the importance of information to success

· Information can be provided through many means including, one-stop shops, trade fairs and the Internet

· Information technology is important for accessing information and expanding networks

· Use of information technology to access information can improve women's access since these forms are available 24 hours a day

· Women must first have access to information technology

Incubators (National Business Incubation Association 1999)

· Provide shared premises to help businesses in the start-up phase

· Provide shared business services during incubation period

· May support a mix of clients or clients from a particular industry

· Provide shared capital, reducing start-up risk and costs

· Can offer management and technical assistance tailored to business's needs

· Incubators can support women's move into new, non-traditional sectors

· Sharing space with others starting businesses can reduce isolation and provide networking opportunities

Marketing assistance (Barton and Bear 1999; Gibson 1999)

· This service helps microentrepreneurs access current and new markets

· The markets can be for inputs or final goods, local or global

· This can also help in identifying new products and new business opportunities

· New technologies and product development are one aspect of this service; they help in accessing newand/or higher value markets

· Information and communications technology also have a role in accessing new markets across the globe

· Support agencies can work to create more effective markets - improving transparency, access and equity; benefits can be leveraged for a large number of clients

· Markets in some cultures are 'male spaces'. Improving market access and transparency may make women more comfortable in the economic sphere

· Standardizing market operations and reducing corruption may decrease the mystery surrounding markets, increasing women's willingness to participate

Support activities

· Some MSE support agencies provide services apart from those directly related to the MSE

· The services include: childcare, transportation, personal development, and advice on how to integrate work and family and gain family support for the economic venture

· Many of the agencies offering these services target women MSE owners

· Providers recognize and respond to the different needs women have as entrepreneurs; women are not free agents able to enter the market without constraints

· Some conclude that offering these services accepts society's ascribed gender roles and doesn't challenge them. However, they meet practical needs and are necessary until roles are changed


· Agencies with this focus work toward improving the opportunities available to MSE owners

· Their key role is influencing policy. The ILO works in this arena to support MSE owners in general and women MSE owners; the tripartite membership structure suits an advocacy role

· Advocacy groups must be aware of the heterogeneity of their client group(s); without this awareness policy changes can be biased toward certain groups

· Many advocacy organizations focus on supporting female entrepreneurs

· They work to raise the visibility of women's economic contribution in the MSE sector and to change policy to support women's role in the sector

· Women cannot be assumed to be homogeneous; class, race, ethnicity, age, etc. all influence how women work within society