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.
Roberta Gatti, Chief Economist, Human Development Global Practice, World Bank
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
Esperanza Lasagabaster, Practice Manager for South Asia, Trade & Competitiveness Global Practice, World Bank