Entrepreneurship & Small Business Development

New research indicates that women are leaving the corporate world at twice the rate of men. Many of these women are choosing to go into business for themselves. The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates that there are about 10.1 million privately-held women-owned firms in the United States, accounting for two out of every five businesses in the country. These firms generate $1.9 trillion in annual sales and employ 13 million people nationwide. In 1994, legislation was passed requiring the federal government to award a minimum of 5 percent of its contracts to women-owned businesses, a target that has never been met. There are currently no incentives, government departments or agencies tasked with enforcement and no consequences for failing to meet designated targets. Researchers in our network are working to improve guidelines and compliance to benefit women-run businesses.

Catalyzing Growth in the Women-Run Small and Medium Enterprises Sector (SMEs) Evaluating the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative

 ICRW conducted an evaluation of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative in India to identify early results of the program on women entrepreneurs’ business skills, practices and growth. 10,000 Women, launched in 2008, aims to provide 10,000 women who run small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-quality business and management skills training. Research shows that these women are often underserved, in terms of access to business or management training and entrepreneurial networks, despite the enormous potential they have to help grow economies in developing countries.

This brief presents a summary of ICRW’s initial evaluation of the India program, which shows how the 10,000 Women program — in combination with a number of other factors — is making a difference in graduates’ businesses and lives.

URL: 
http://www.icrw.org/publications/catalyzing-growth-women-run-small-and-medium-enterprises-sector-smes

Connectivity: How Mobile Phones, Computers and the Internet Can Catalyze Women's Entrepreneurship India: A Case Study

 This study examines how access to and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) are transforming the economic opportunities available to poor and low-income women in India by promoting their entrepreneurial activity. What types of initiatives support small and medium enterprises for women, and through which ICTs? What factors shape a positive connection between ICTs and women’s business success? What barriers have been lifted and what opportunities realized? What types of impact are ICT-based initiatives having on women, their businesses and beyond? What promising pathways are being shaped, and what channels have yet to be explored?

URL: 
http://www.icrw.org/publications/connectivity-how-mobile-phones-computers-and-internet-can-catalyze-womens-entrepreneurs

GEM 2010 Women's Report

The Report found that, in 2010, more than 104 million women between 18-64 years old were actively engaged in starting and running new business ventures, contributing significantly to entrepreneurship in all 59 economies studied. Another 83 million women were running established businesses that they started over 3½ years earlier. Taken together, 187 million women were involved in creating and operating enterprises, ranging from just over 1.5 percent to 45.4 percent of the adult female population in these 59 economies. Although entrepreneurial activity among women is highest in emerging economies (45.5 percent), the proportion of all entrepreneurs who are women varies considerably among the economies: from 16 percent in the Republic of Korea to 55 percent in Ghana–the only economy with more women than  men entrepreneurs. A multi-year analysis shows that this gender gap has persisted across most economies for the past nine years (2002-2010).

URL: 
http://www.gemconsortium.org/news/757/gem-2010-womens-report-
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