This study examines the role of women-owned small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in raising labour force participation, and boosting economic growth in emerging markets. It explains the barriers Women-owned SMEs face, such as: access to education and training, legal and cultural barriers and infrastructure-related challenges. The study considers access to finance as a major constraint for women-owned SMEs, which is often intensified by gender-related factors, including women’s lack of collateral, weak property rights and discriminatory regulations, laws and customs. The study assesses the potential impact that closing the credit gap for women-owned SMEs can have on economic development, and estimates the link between credit to SMEs and growth in income per capita.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.