The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development found that female entrepreneurs tend to exhibit lower productivity, generate lower sales, and are less profitable than male entrepreneurs. There are several reasons behind these gaps, including disparities in accessing finance, business related skills, and networking. However, too little is known about what works to foster the growth of female-run businesses in order to narrow gender inequalities and spur private sector development. To close this gap, the World Bank has recently launched a series of innovative interventions coupled with impact evaluations to understand how to help female-run businesses to grow.
This conference will review the most recent thinking and evidence about the factors that can promote the growth of female-run businesses. Participants will discuss innovative interventions that aim to help female-run enterprises grow and the steps needed for ensuring successful replication. The final session will discuss programs and interventions that did not work as expected and the reasons behind these failures.