Women have the capacity to improve their own economic status and make valuable contributions to society – if they are given equal opportunities. A France-based social venture called Empow’Her aims to facilitate this through training, coaching and networking. The objective is to enable women in developing countries to access entrepreneurship and overcome the obstacles they face.
Set up in 2013, the organisation operates across 11 countries and has supported over 3,000 female entrepreneurs. The project focuses on developing hard skills (business modelling, financing and marketing) as well as soft skills (how to grow as an entrepreneur and as a leader). Programmes are tailored to specific sectors such as women in agriculture.
Developing business ideas
Empow’Her runs 5 support programmes. These are:
• SEEDS: Supporting vulnerable female entrepreneurs through literacy
• SPARK: Building confidence through helping women to structure and plan out their projects
• GROW: Encouraging women working in the agricultural sector to develop their business activities, especially those who want to take concrete action for the environment
• WOMEN’ACT: Supporting and promoting women entrepreneurship for a better world
• ECOSYSTEM: Forging links between women and new networks
Making a difference
Prior to the launch of each programme, the needs and specificities of the target country are assessed, in order to design courses that will make a difference. Measuring the sustainable impact of these programmes is also centre feature of Empow’Her’s work.
According to the organisation’s 2018 report, 100% of programme participants consider that they developed new skills, while some 80% are able to grow their business. Only 45% of women say they feel confident before beginning their training, compared to 80% upon completion.
Another impressive statistic is the fact that 85% of participants are able to make a living from their business activities thanks to the skills and entrepreneurial spirit engendered by the programme.