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Past Event

Advancing female entrepreneurship in the developing world: A look at Africa

Past Event

Support for female entrepreneurs in developing countries—especially in Africa—promises to yield important benefits in terms of women’s empowerment, household welfare, and economic development. Yet, the challenges remain daunting for women to successfully launch and sustain entrepreneurial activities. Lack of access to capital is a major obstacle, but so are underdeveloped professional networks, insufficient business skills, legal discrimination, and the disproportionate burdens of child and senior care. New initiatives at the multilateral and bilateral level signal a renewed commitment from the donor community to address these challenges. Japan, in particular, has redoubled its efforts to support female entrepreneurship in the developing world as part of its broader policy of womenomics—an effort to increase women’s overall participation in the Japanese economy.

On December 14, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies and the Africa Growth Initiative hosted a panel of experts and practitioners to assess the inroads made by African female entrepreneurs, the obstacles that need to be overcome in order to enable genuine female economic empowerment, and the most effective approaches to maximize the manifold contributions of women-owned businesses to the economy and society.

After the program, panelists will take audience questions.



Francesco Strobbe

Senior Financial Sector Economist, Finance and Markets Global Practice - World Bank


Aya Yamaguchi

Senior Advisor on Gender and Development - Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

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