Economic Empowerment

Research from the World Bank, Ernst & Young, and other institutions indicates that the real drivers of the global economy are women. As business leaders, employees, consumers, and entrepreneurs, women are accelerating economic growth and improving conditions in their communities. Despite the proven benefits of women’s economic engagement, women business owners face disproportionate barriers in growing their businesses: they have difficulty accessing business networks, technology, training, credit, markets, and equal protection under the law.

Vital Voices addresses these barriers through targeted interventions that cultivate women’s business leadership by fostering growth aspirations, building their confidence and integrating them into networks that can expand their businesses and reach new buyers and markets.

We identify high potential yet underserved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are on the cusp of growth as the “missing middle” in the global economy. We are committed to realizing their vast potential and that of the women who lead them through three key mechanisms:

  • Direct services: Business mentoring programs and leadership and skills trainings 
  • Informing and influencing stakeholders: Advocacy and research 
  • Access to networks: Connections to peers, markets and opportunities          



Read the Vital Voices report:

Ready for Growth: Solutions to Increase Access to Finance for Women-Owned Business in the Middle East and North Africa.