INCLUDE Platform

Saskia Vossenberg


ORGANISATION: Erasmus University Rotterdam
TITLE: PhD researcher
SPECIALISATION: gender, inclusive development

Saskia Vossenberg is a PhD researcher at the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, where she is researching how inclusive innovations affect women’s lives and businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. She works as an independent consultant in gender and inclusive economic development and advises governments, impact investors and not-for-profit organizations on issues of gender equality in the private sector, inclusive business and entrepreneurship development.


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Question of the week 15 2016-10-21 14:29:06
Successful examples of integrated approaches that support women entrepreneurs are grounded in the question: 'what works where and for who'. Not all women entrepreneurs are the same nor do they experience the same constraints and opportunities. Especially female entrepreneurs operating in informal economies need support with overcoming the gendered risks and circumstances under which they operate their businesses. Meaning, challenging those negative norms and rules that legitimize what women can and cannot have, be and do in a society.  
A good example is that of EXIM Bank in Tanzania which partnered with IFC to establish a programme for women’s entrepreneurship development. It initially started with the provision of business advisory services but realizing that women often shy away from banks due to the misconduct of bank employees, including sexual harassment and the moral judgement of women who apply for a loan or demand services, EXIM Bank staff were given gender-sensitization training and a policy was implemented to encourage a healthy and cordial work environment that is responsive to women’s needs. So, next to building the capacity of women entrepreneurs and ‘making them more bankable’, EXIM Bank’s invested in its own institutional ability to better serve and bank women entrepreneurs.
 
For more good practices see: http://includeplatform.net/strategies-for-womens-business-growth/