Effectiveness of Entrepreneurship Development Interventions for Women-Entrepreneurs: An ILO-WED Issue Brief

Designing suitable interventions for women’s entrepreneurship development

This brief provides an overview of the recent evidence about the impact of women’s entrepreneurship development (WED) interventions on women entrepreneurs and identifies gaps. For the assessment, it analyzes six meta-evaluations and 23 impact evaluations from 2010 to 2014. Ten of these evaluations examine the impact of finance, nine of business training, and nine of business training plus follow-up business advice. Key findings include:

  • There is little rigorous evidence that either access to finance alone or business training alone leads to sustained business growth among women’s microenterprises;
  • Interventions that combine finance and business training are seen to be more effective than other individual interventions;
  • There is early evidence that business training combined with follow-up technical assistance, and business grants together with business training may be effective in supporting the business growth of existing female entrepreneurs;
  • There is evidence that entrepreneurship programs have been more effective in stimulating the creation of women’s new microenterprises than in supporting the growth of women’s existing businesses;
  • To effectively support the business success of women entrepreneurs at the microenterprise level, WED interventions should address more barriers to women’s entrepreneurship beyond limited access to finance and business skills.

About this Publication

By Patel, P.