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Gender

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"This report sets out to establish how well social enterprise addresses gender inequality and women's empowerment in the UK. It is part of a series of reports commissioned by the British Council to look at the link between social enterprise and women's empowerment across five countries: Brazil, India, Pakistan, the UK and the USA. It explores the strengths and weaknesses of social enterprise as a mechanism for empowering women and considers different ways it is being used for this end. It also examines the idea that social enterprise as a business model might advance women's empowerment even when that is not a specific objective."

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"The main focus of this study is to ascertain the impact of access to formal credit on enterprise performance. The study uses Nigerian Enterprise Surveys data for 2010 to construct a direct measure of credit constraint. From propensity score estimations, the results show that access to formal credit matters and has significant impact on enterprise performance indicators. Firms that are credit constrained have significantly lower output per worker, capital per worker, employment of labour and investment in fixed assets for expansion compared to firms that are not credit constrained. This is more pronounced for women-owned enterprises after adjusting for bias in the estimations and controlling for sampling weights. This suggests that one way to support the growth of enterprises in Nigeria is to make access to formal credit less stringent. Also, government and monetary authorities should support credit expansion policies for medium and small enterprises in Nigeria."

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"Globally, women's involvement in clean cooking value chains has been minimal. This is partly because of the multiple challenges faced by women that impede their capacity to effectively engage in the energy sector. To better discern gender-specific differences in involvement in the energy sector, the authors conducted a randomized trial in Kenya to compare sales performance of newly trained male and female improved cookstove entrepreneurs and to test the effects of an agency-based empowerment training on business activity. A total of 257 entrepreneurs completed either a 4-day entrepreneurial training (control) or a 4-day empowerment training (intervention) and were followed for nearly 8 months documenting business activity and sales. The empowerment training led to more than doubling of sales for both genders. In addition, participants in the intervention group were significantly more likely to demonstrate business commitment over time and nearly three times more likely to be higher sellers (relative risk = 2.7, 95% CI [1.4, 5.4]), controlling for gender and rural/urban locale. Women outsold men by a margin of nearly 3 to 1 and were more likely to continue to pursue leads despite limited sales. Nonactive participants (those selling 1 improved cookstove or less) were a larger percentage of the control group (72%) than the intervention group (50%), and more men were nonactive participants (65% of men) compared with women (56% of women).These data show that women can serve as active improved cookstove entrepreneurs in both urban and rural settings and that targeted agency-based empowerment training can significantly increase women's capacity to engage effectively within the improved cookstove value chain."

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"This guide provides useful insights and recommendations for any entrepreneur support provider committed to connecting entrepreneurs to knowledge, networks, expertise, and capital along all stages of venture development. Accelerators, incubators, mentorship networks, and other intermediaries supporting entrepreneurs from idea to scale will find useful insights and recommendations to make their programs more accessible to women entrepreneurs."

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"The first part of this guide, “Barriers to Female Entrepreneurship in Latin America”, provides a foundation by outlining the challenges that women entrepreneurs face in Latin America and how their attitudes, motivations, and entrepreneurial setup and outcomes differ from men.

The second part of the guide, “Gender Lens Acceleration”, explores the differences between women and men entrepreneurs in acceleration, and the challenges women entrepreneurs face in accessing acceleration support. A gender lens is then applied to the acceleration process, covering program set-up and design, promotion, scouting and application, selection of participants, and program delivery. Each phase of the process is broken down into an overview of how gender manifests, and recommendations and best practices that accelerators can apply to make their programs’ processes gender inclusive. The guide ends with gender lens measurement in acceleration."

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"There is significant evidence that women entrepreneurs face unique challenges in starting and growing businesses, particularly in emerging markets. Acceleration programs represent one potential model for overcoming these challenges through support services and investment. Using GALI data on more than 14,000 ventures across 160 countries, this knowledge brief examines trends in the acceleration of women-led ventures."

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"Increasing attention - both in the scholarly literature and in the world of policy makers and practitioners - is being paid to the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. What was once assumed to be a merit-based system for encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurs is now understood to operate in gendered ways that in many cases disadvantage female founders. These effects occur across the entire pipeline, beginning with the dearth of women seeking to start high growth companies, to the lack of funding opportunities and mentorship. There are substantial differences in the number of startups led by women, their levels of relevant experience and the amount of funding - both debt and equity - they seek and receive. Some have argued that women tend to found lower potential startups. Yet, even controlling for quality, we see many implicit biases in how female founders are treated. One important approach to redressing inequalities might be through the use of accelerators. Entrepreneurship accelerators are proliferating in both developed and developing economies as different cities, regions and sectors seek to increase economic growth and employment. Accelerators are designed to give a boost to startups by providing in a concentrated way the mentorship, networks, training and financing required to be successful. The presence of accelerators could have the potential to solve some of the challenges female entrepreneurs face, however preliminary evidence suggests that they, for the most part, seem to be perpetuating the gendered dynamics that exist in the entrepreneurial system. On the other hand, there is no systematic research on how accelerators do or might address the gendered dynamics of entrepreneurship. Because accelerators are seen as such an important policy tool for increasing entrepreneurial success, it is imperative that we develop and analyze systematic data on accelerators and their effects, particularly on female founders. In this study, we will draw on what is known to date on female entrepreneurs and more broadly on the research on gender in organizations and the economy to understand the dynamics of acceleration in entrepreneurship. Using a longitudinal database of over 3,000 ventures in nearly 50 accelerators, we trace the effects of selection into the accelerator and the acceleration process on outcomes for women-only, women-led, and male-only venture teams. We couple survey data with interviews of accelerators to understand whether and when acceleration can be a tool for mitigating gender bias in female entrepreneurship."

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"Pulling insights from diverse disciplines and the experience of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) affiliated researchers around the world, this guide offers practical tips for overcoming challenges in incorporating women and girls' empowerment measurement in impact evaluations. The guide emphasizes the importance of conducting in-depth formative research to understand gender dynamics in the specific context before starting an evaluation, developing locally tailored indicators to complement internationally standardized ones, and reducing the potential for reporting bias in our instruments and data collection plan."

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"SPF and Dalberg Advisors have collaborated to complete a research report using country level data and expert interviews to understand the critical gender gaps and entrepreneurial solutions to advance the lives of women in Southeast Asia. The study outlines a framework that captures economic empowerment, personal safety and mobility, formal representation, education, health, time and decision-making as seven mutually reinforcing dimensions that are critical to women’s empowerment in Southeast Asia."

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