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Promoting women’s entrepreneurship – experiences and learnings

During 2014-2022, H&M Foundation and its partner CARE supported over 270,000 women entrepreneurs from emerging markets. As part of the programme’s last phase two reports have been created with the goal to consolidate and integrate the lessons learned from the program both towards external stakeholders and internally within the confederation.

We know that empowering women is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of poverty and create economic growth. Women who are empowered, educated, and healthy are able to pursue their dreams, earn higher wages, and have healthier families. This can help reduce poverty and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals on Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality.

The women who were part of our Global Program with CARE were from Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jordan, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Yemen and Zambia. Through the program they were equipped with what’s needed to become successful and empowered entrepreneurs, and to further develop and grow their businesses. These women became entrepreneurs and business leaders in a world where women are consistently refused the same access as men to education as well as financial services and bank loans.

Based on the learnings from our programme, CARE has created Women’s Entrepreneurship Guidance Note –  which showcases their global experience of promoting women entrepreneurship in low income countries. They have also released the report CARE Partnerships with Financial Service Providers. In this report, CARE provides the results of a study that had the following purposes: first, to provide a dataset of the financial service providers (FSPs) that CARE has partnered with over the past 10 years across the confederation, and second, to expose the key aspects and lessons learnt from developing partnerships with financial institutions to better serve the needs of the women and communities CARE works with.

Both reports can be downloaded below.