UN labour agency and financial institution plan to help African women entrepreneurs

Launching a series of new reports grouped under the title “Support for Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs,” the two institutions said they will cooperate in providing help with association building, access to financing, markets and business development services, as well as help with business support, information sharing, networks and the legal environment, starting in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.According to the reports, the ongoing sub-regional discussions on women entrepreneurs affect not only those four countries, but also the rest of the continent.Based on the findings of the report for Kenya, the African Development Bank has approved a new project to provide loan guarantees, business training and strengthening of associations of women entrepreneurs across the continent. As a further response to the reports in the four countries, the ILO will give greater priority to women’s entrepreneurship in Africa over the next two years.The report also calls for special efforts at the national and regional levels to challenge existing cultural and social practices and allow women entrepreneurs to participate in private sector development and employment creation activities by reviewing legal frameworks.