Webinar on Women’s Entrepreneurship Development: ILO experiences in assisting women entrepreneurs in starting-up a productive business with growth potential

Tuesday 21 February 2012 - Webinar convened by the ILO and the UN Global Compact Office

Today, more and more women are starting businesses, with women-led enterprises accounting now for a quarter to a third of all businesses in the formal economy worldwide. However, the great majority are very small micro enterprises with only limited potential for growth. Societal attitudes and social beliefs inhibit some women from even considering starting a business, while systemic barriers mean that many women entrepreneurs stay confined to very small businesses. This not only limits their ability to earn an income for themselves and their families but restricts their full potential to contribute to socio-economic development and job creation. Removing these systemic barriers is therefore essential, but investing in women is equally important and seen as one of the most effective means of increasing gender equality and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

This webinar, led by ILO experts in women’s entrepreneurship development and gender equality, will focus on the ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development (WED) programme that is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. By providing tools and technical support, and by working with international and local partners in many countries around the world the ILO-WED programme enabled more than 60,000 women entrepreneurs to generate employment, improve the productivity of their business, increase their access to relevant support services and markets and increase their voice and representation. The webinar will also highlight opportunities to partner with ongoing programmes in different countries.

ILO-WED works on enhancing economic opportunities for women by carrying out affirmative action in support of women starting, formalizing and growing their enterprises, and by mainstreaming gender equality issues into enterprise promotion policies and programmes. The programme contributes to decent employment creation, women’s economic empowerment, gender equality and poverty reduction.

The webinar is taking place on Tuesday 21 February 2012 at 9:30 AM (New York time) 3:30 PM (Geneva time). Registration is required to participate. Please register via the United Nations Global Compact page or send a message to webinar@unglobalcompact.org

For more information, please visit the web page of the ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Programme.