London, UK – The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a partnership housed in the World Bank Group that mobilizes financing and non-financial support for women-led/owned businesses in developing countries, is sponsoring the GEM 2020/21 Women's Entrepreneurship Report.
The report will be launched in early October. It will highlight areas where there are still gaps, challenges and opportunities for female entrepreneurs, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will address questions around entrepreneurship activity rates, entrepreneurial intentions, closure rate/reasons, entrepreneur characteristics (i.e. age, education), perception, employees, growth expectations, innovations, international engagement, industry participation, confidence, skills, access and use of digital technology and access to finance.
We-Fi and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) are also collaborating on a supplemental strategic paper to provide insights for policy makers, ecosystem players, donors and international financial institutions to support women entrepreneurs which will feed into the GEM 2020/21 Women's Entrepreneurship Report.
“We-Fi is focused on achieving sustainable, systematic and scalable solutions focused on increasing access to finance and training, mentoring, and networks; increasing access to markets; and improving the enabling the environment for women entrepreneurs,” said Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi. “The GEM research studies will provide us with an overview of the gaps in the current entrepreneurial landscape and with multiple inputs to building out our strategic direction.”
GEM last published a report on women’s entrepreneurship in 2019. In 2020, the GEM Board made a strategic decision – given the rapidly moving social dynamics around women’s entrepreneurship – to produce the report annually moving forward.
“GEM intends to build a constituency of influential and interested supporting stakeholders – with an interest in promoting women’s entrepreneurship – around this report,” said Dr. Niels Bosma, Chair of the GEM Board. “We are thrilled that We-Fi will be partnering with us on this research. This work will provide a robust foundation for guiding future research, policy decision-making and the design of initiatives and programs post-COVID-19 to enhance growth and development of women’s entrepreneurship within a highly challenging context of economic recovery efforts in countries worldwide.”
Dr. Amanda Elam, Research Fellow at the Diana International Research Institute at Babson College, is the lead author for both reports. In the case of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Report, other GEM researchers will also contribute.
"The GEM 2020/21 Women's Entrepreneurship Report will provide global findings on the state of the art of female entrepreneurship, as well as regional breakdowns and a particular focus on how the pandemic has impacted women business owners," said Elam. "It will be a unique opportunity to provide insights on trends in women’s entrepreneurship, highlight gaps and opportunities to support women entrepreneurs and offer recommendations on priority areas of support."
We-Fi joins the Cartier Women's Initiative and Smith College as sponsors of the GEM 2020/21 Women's Entrepreneurship Report.
GEM Executive Director Dr. Aileen Ionescu-Somers concluded: “It is exciting to bring on this diverse range of sponsoring organizations, demonstrating the appeal of our research to various constituencies.”
About the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative ( We-Fi)
The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) was created in recognition of the critical role played by women’s entrepreneurship in empowering women, creating jobs, boosting inclusive economic growth, and ending poverty. The Initiative, established in 2017, harnesses the public and private sectors to open new doors for women entrepreneurs across the developing world. We-Fi is hosted by the World Bank and its programs are implemented by six Multilateral Development Banks: African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group (World Bank and IFC). This initiative brings together donors from 14 governments. Within three years of its launch in 2017, We-Fi has allocated nearly $300 million in donor contributions to programs that are mobilizing an additional $3 billion to benefit close to 130,000 WSMEs in over 40 countries worldwide. We-Fi’s footprint will expand to over 60 countries in the coming years.
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is a consortium of national country teams, primarily associated with top academic institutions, that carries out survey-based research on entrepreneurship around the world. GEM is the only global research source that collects data on entrepreneurship directly from individual entrepreneurs! GEM’s Adult Population Survey (APS) provides analysis on the characteristics, motivations and ambitions of individuals starting businesses, as well as social attitudes towards entrepreneurship. The National Expert Survey (NES) looks at the national context in which individuals start businesses.
In numbers, GEM is:
- 20+ years of data
- 150,000+ interviews a year
- 100+ economies
- 500+ specialists in entrepreneurship research
- 300+ academic and research institutions
- 200+ funding institutions
GEM began in 1999 as a joint project between Babson College (USA) and London Business School (UK). The consortium has become the richest resource of information on entrepreneurship, publishing a range of global, national and 'special topic' reports on an annual basis.
Access a Q and A interview with Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi, at the following link.