Supporting Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs: A Review of the Evidence and Key Challenges
In recent years, support programs for female entrepreneurs have gained traction and prominence as a means to create jobs and boost prosperity. However, disparities in initial resources and endowments of male—and female-led firms, sector sorting into low productivity activities, social norms, and institutional arrangements, constrain the growth of female-led enterprises. This note reviews the outcomes of programs supporting female growth entrepreneurs and draws lessons from available evidence to inform the design of more effective programs. The note concludes by suggesting the need for more experimentation in the design and delivery of services and a new focus on strengthening the engendering of support programs to more specifically address gender-specific constraints such as social norms, institutional arrangements, and paying more attention to factors that could induce female entrepreneurs to diversify into higher value-added activities.