Lessons on creating equal market access for women entrepreneurs

Harnessing an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment post-pandemic. Via YouTube

On Aug. 5, Devex and Atlas Network hosted a virtual event on how to best support women’s economic opportunities and the enabling environment needed for women’s economic empowerment.

A panel of experts shared experiences from their own work, emphasizing the need to support more local solutions and to build on-the-ground accountability mechanisms to help drive impact, as well as better ways to measure success to build a more inclusive approach to grant-making for women’s economic empowerment programs.

Illustration by Jack Brougham, Live Illustration

Arpita Nepal, co-founder and adviser of research and development at Samriddhi Foundation, stressed the need for leveling the playing field for women by creating better access to markets and breaking down barriers.

“That’s when you start breaking some of these gendered norms. … And in order to create that, you need to create equal access to opportunities,” she said during the virtual discussion.

Limited information and data exist on how countries are progressing on the issue, and many global economic indexes have failed to account for gender discrimination, leading to an incomplete picture of the opportunities available to women in many low- and middle-income countries.

However, in recent years, initiatives such as the World Bank’s annual “Women, Business and the Law” report have made progress in shedding light on some of the legal and institutional barriers facing women around the globe.

Watch the event to learn how investing in women’s economic opportunities is good business for all, and join the conversation online using the hashtags #DignityUnbound and #DevexEvent.

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