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What Works in Promoting Women-Led SMEs? Findings from Sierra Leone and Pakistan
September 7, 2016Washington, D.C.

Join a lunchtime discussion with the Gender & Development and Women’s Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) teams of the World Bank Group.

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The Women's Leadership in Small and Medium Enterprises (WLSME) is a trust fund partnership with USAID that aims to promote the entry and growth of women-owned and managed small and medium enterprises. It supports rigorous evaluations of innovative interventions designed to help growth orientated male and female entrepreneurs in 12 countries. Today's BBL presents results from two WLSME supported evaluations of programs in Sierra Leone and Pakistan.

In Sierra Leone a randomized control trial was used to evaluate the results of a youth employment intervention that aimed to relax both capital and skills constraints faced by young male and female entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship can provide an essential source of employment in fragile and conflict affected countries where economic opportunities are often limited and this evaluation provides interesting insights into the program's impact during the Ebola crisis, as well as the results about the effectiveness of the different types of support provided. 

Supporting and empowering women entrepreneurs requires a full understanding of the constraints they face, the sectors they operate in and, their skills and growth aspirations. The second presentation provides a profile of more than 600 women entrepreneurs with growth potential in the city of Karachi based on a city-wide representative sample. The survey, the first of its kind, confirms that entrepreneurial rates among women are very low in Karachi, but they vary significantly across towns. It also identifies characteristics of the entrepreneurs and their businesses that are important elements to consider when designing business support programs for growth-oriented women entrepreneurs.

Chair:

Roberta Gatti, Chief Economist, Human Development Global Practice, World Bank

Presenters:

Nina Rosas Raffo, Social Protection Specialist, Social Protection and Labor Global Practice, World Bank

Xavier Cirera, Senior Economist, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank

Komal Mohindra, Senior Private Sector Specialist, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank

Discussant:

Esperanza Lasagabaster, Practice Manager for South Asia, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank

  • Roberta Gatti

    Chief Economist, Human Development Global Practice, World Bank
    Roberta Gatti is a Chief Economist for the Human Development Practice Group. She has over 18 years of experience in the Bank working on social protection, human development, and macroeconomics and growth across regions and sectors. She has published widely on labor market dynamics, child labor, growth, firm productivity and informality. She currently focuses on building knowledge to bear on the development challenges in human development in collaboration with WB Global Practices, regions, DEC, and IFC, and with other internal and external partners; on providing economic guidance to the Human Development leadership team; and overseeing the quality and relevance of major economic work, including the Practice Group's leading flagship reports.
  • Nina Rosas Raffo

    Social Protection Specialist, Social Protection and Labor Global Practice, World Bank
    Nina Rosas Raffo is a Social Protection Specialist in the Social Protection and Labor Global Practice at the World Bank. She is working on a mix of operational and analytical tasks primarily in the Africa region. Previously she was part of the team of the 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. Her current analytical work focuses on targeting and the productive aspects of social safety nets, as well as on links between youth employment and skills and their intersection with fragility. She holds a Master's degree in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • Xavier Cirera

    Senior Economist, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank
    Xavier Cirera is a Senior Economist in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit of the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank. He has more than 15 years' experience working in trade and competitiveness in developing countries, mainly in innovation, entrepreneurship, firm level dynamics, trade policy, and competitiveness. He holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Sussex. His current work spans innovation policy, entrepreneurship and impact evaluation, including the measurement of innovation and its link to productivity, innovation policy programs in Kenya, Colombia and Kazakhstan and, impact evaluations of women entrepreneurship programs in Pakistan and Nigeria.
Event Details
  • When: 12:30-2:00 p.m. ET
  • Where: MC C2-131, World Bank Group headquarters
  • CONTACT: Shirley Bekoe
  • sbekoe@worldbank.org