Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises (EOWE)


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Both in Vietnam and Kenya substantial progress has been made in creating an institutional and legislative environment that promotes gender equality. However, women’s ability to benefit from these institutional and legislative policies is limited by inequitable gender norms, attitudes and stereotypes, including those perpetuated by women themselves. At the local level, awareness on the improved policy environment is limited, which has a profound impact on gender disparity in employment and economic opportunities.

The “Enhancing Opportunities for Women’s Enterprises” (EOWE) programme aims to advance women’s economic participation and self-reliance in Kenya and Vietnam by creating a conducive environment for female entrepreneurship as a vehicle of change. While rates of female entrepreneurship are relatively high in both countries, these businesses are often informal, tend to underperform and have a high risk of failure. The main explanation for the underperformance is limited capacity, including financial literacy, access to credit and business assets, control over income and other resources, workload, and leadership skills and confidence. The project, which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and implemented between 2016 and 2020, is built on the opportunities to be found in strengthening women’s entrepreneurship and improving their access to inputs and business assets in the agribusiness sector. Increasing women’s leadership in all spheres of decision-making is essential for advancing women’s influence over issues that affect them, their businesses, and society at large. 

To ensure significant and lasting change SNV works hand-in-hand with key local partners. In Vietnam, SNV works with  the Vietnam Women’s Union, the Ministry and Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural development and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In Kenya, we work with the national and ASAL county governments, the Women, Uwezo and Youth funds and CSOs to facilitate dialogue on social norms hindering women’s access to economic opportunities.

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Objectives

1

Increase capacity of government actors to develop and implement female entrepreneurship-friendly policies

2

Increase in practices of gender equitable norms in households and communities to increase women's economic opportunities

3

Increase in income, viability, and profitability of women-led businesses

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