Project profile — Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship - Creating a Gender-Responsive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

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Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship - Creating a Gender-Responsive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem - Overview
ESCAP - Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (XM-DAC-41106)
2018-03-28 - 2023-03-28
Country / region • South Asia, regional (33.33%)
• Far East Asia, regional (33.33%)
• Oceania, regional (33.34%)
Sector • Communication
Information and communication technology (ICT) (22040) (25.00%)
• Banking And Financial Services
Formal sector financial intermediaries (24030) (40.00%)
• Business And Other Services
Business support services and institutions (25010) (35.00%)
Policy marker • Gender equality (principal objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
Description and results


The project aims to advance women’s economic empowerment and contribute to poverty reduction in the Asia-Pacific region (South Asia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific). It is designed to address the particular challenges that women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises face in growing their businesses, including access to finance and new technologies. It is designed to increase women’s access to capital through innovative financing mechanisms and women entrepreneurs’ use of business development services and financial technologies. The project supports the development of gender-responsive policies and programs for business development and investment. Project activities include: (1) technical assistance to support innovative financing mechanisms to develop targeted products for women entrepreneurs, including bonds, impact investment funds and financial technology platforms; (2) advisory support and capacity building for policymakers on regulatory frameworks for digital finance; (3) training for women entrepreneurs on using information and communications technologies to plan, manage and grow their businesses; and (4) training for policymakers on developing, implementing and monitoring gender-responsive entrepreneurship initiatives and developing enabling policy frameworks for innovative finance mechanisms.

Expected results

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) increased access to finance for women entrepreneurs through innovative financing approaches; (2) increased use of information and communication technologies by women entrepreneurs; and (3) strengthened enabling environment for the advancement of women entrepreneurs.

Results achieved

Results achieved as of May 2021 include: (1) initiation of multi-stakeholder dialogue on policy reforms centred around the creation of support for women entrepreneurs, such as easing business registration processes, access to business services and establishment of advisory committees that facilitate ongoing dialogue on gender equality issues; (2) direct benefit for 7,205 women entrepreneurs through access to finance to start and grow their businesses; (3) unlocked US$59 million in private capital to support women entrepreneurs; and (4) creation of information communication technology-enabled products and services to promote technological transformation, growth and productivity in the micro, small and medium-sized sector with a focus on women-led businesses.



Original budget $1,000,000
Planned Disbursement $2,150,000
Country Percentages by Sector
Related information

Related information

Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship - Creating a Gender-Responsive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem - Related information
Related links
Partner website — ESCAP - Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
Global Affairs Canada
MFM Global Issues & Dev.Branch
Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Project-type interventions

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