Practical tips for business accelerators to support women entrepreneurs
Business accelerators play a crucial role in providing businesses with knowledge, support and networks to become more resilient and grow. As such, they can be important multipliers of sustainable economic development and business practices.
Currently, women-led enterprises face unique challenges in starting and running businesses and are underrepresented in business acceleration. According to a global survey undertaken by GALI in 2020, all-women founding teams accounted for only 13 per cent of business accelerator program applicants. This not only limits women entrepreneur’s opportunities for growth and accessing finance, but also negatively impacts wider socio-economic developments, such as national GDP, education or health.
At the same time, this presents an opportunity for business accelerators to expand their reach and partnerships as well as improve their own performance. Applying a gender lens allows business accelerators to identify and address underlying factors which prevent women entrepreneurs from applying and participating in business acceleration programs.
This publication provides business accelerators with ten practical tips to engender their programs and practices. It includes lessons learned and examples from a case study in Myanmar and supplements existing research and guidance on gender-smart acceleration in the Asia and Pacific region.