Economic Development & Microfinance

Women contribute actively to economic development and sustainability. Their social status determines their access to opportunities for economic autonomy and advancement. In the US, the glass ceiling is still firmly in place in many sectors of the economy. Globally, economic development efforts are doomed to failure without women’s active involvement and participation. More efforts need to focus on empowering women as wage earners, entrepreneurs and business owners. Microfinance programs also offer great potential to lift women out of poverty.

World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development

 The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development finds that women's lives around the world have improved dramatically, but gaps remain in many areas. The authors use a conceptual framework to examine progress to date, and then recommend policy actions.

URL: 
http://go.worldbank.org/CQCTMSFI40

Engendering agricultural research, development, and extension

 Research has shown that women, when given the capital and opportunity, make unique, positive contributions to development outcomes ranging from agricultural productivity to poverty reduction. It comes as little surprise, then, that agricultural research, development, and extension systems are generally more successful when scientists, researchers, and extension agents pay attention to gender issues. However, women continue to be underrepresented and underserved, and their contributions remain mostly untapped in national and international agricultural research. Worldwide, gender roles are culturally defined in all aspects of farming, from control of resources to production and marketing, and these definitions constrain and marginalize women. Even within the agricultural research community, most scientists and extension agents are male.

URL: 
http://www.ifpri.org/publication/engendering-agricultural-research-development-and-extension

The Kauffman Firm Survey Report: Who Are User Entrepreneurs?

  A study released by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that "user entrepreneurs" have founded more than 46 percent of innovative startups that have lasted five years or more, even though this group creates only 10.7 percent of U.S. startups overall.

URL: 
http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/nearly-half-of-innovative-startups-are-founded-by-user-entrepreneurs.aspx
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