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What Matters for Female Entrepreneurs in India: Lessons for Developing Countries?
December 18, 2013Washington, D.C.

As the WDR 2012 and the upcoming report on Gender at Work show, women continue to be economically disadvantaged in most developing countries. It has been argued that these countries are thereby foregoing significant potential economic benefits and opportunities for transformational growth.

The analysis of recent micro-level evidence for India (Ghani, E., Kerr, W. R., & O'Connell, S. D., 2012) shows that agglomeration economies, infrastructure access and strong business networks generate significant productivity and efficiency gains for women-owned enterprises. The findings have important policy implications. This presentation highlights the economic channels through which women's economic activity in the formal and informal sectors are enabled and impeded. The presentation also examines the institutional reforms that are required and the need for improving connectivity and infrastructure to encourage increased female economic opportunities, recognizing that a combination of solutions are required and one-size does not fit all.  

The discussants highlight: the constraints faced by women entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa; the impediments women entrepreneurs face in accessing financing to grow their businesses and invest in non-traditional sectors; and the legal and regulatory reforms that are essential to create a level playing field for entrepreneurs in developing countries.

Jeni Klugman, Sector Director, PRMGE,  World Bank Group 

Ejaz Ghani, Lead Economist, PRMED, World Bank Group 

Matthew Gamser, Head, SME Finance Forum, World Bank Group
Mary Hallward-Dreimeier, Lead Economist, DECFP, World Bank Group
Margo Thomas, Lead PSD Specialist, CICTI, World Bank Group 

For more information: IFC Investment Climate Resources 

  • About the Speaker

    Ejaz Ghani, an Indian national, is Lead Economist in Economic Policy and Debt, PREM Network, at The World Bank. He has worked on Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Corporate Strategy, and Independent Evaluation Unit. He has written on economic growth, macro policies, poverty, employment, entrepreneurship, urbanization, gender, trade, decentralization, and agriculture. He has been a consultant at ILO, UNCTAD, and UNICEF. He has edited several books including Reshaping Tomorrow--Is South Asia Ready for the Big Leap? Oxford University Press 2011; The Poor Half Billion in South Asia, Oxford University Press 2010; The Service Revolution in South Asia, Oxford University Press 2010; Accelerating Growth and Job Creation in South Asia (with S. Ahmed) 2009, Promoting Economic Cooperation in South Asia (with S. Ahmed and S. Kelegama), 2009; and Growth and Regional Integration (with S. Ahmed) Macmillan 2007. Prior to joining The World Bank, he taught economics at St. Anne's College (Oxford University) and Shri Ram College of Commerce (Delhi University). He obtained an M. Phil. & D. Phil in Economics from Oxford University. He did his schooling in Bihar; Bachelors at St. Stephen's College; and Masters at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. He is an Inlaks scholar.
Event Details
  • When: 12:00-1:15 PM EST
  • Where: MC C1-100
  • CONTACT: Margo Thomas
  • mthomas@ifc.org