Women Entrepreneurs

Aflateen program participants share business ideas during a training session. 

Building an Economic Foundation for Girls in Southern Thailand

October 5, 2016


The High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, created by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in January 2016, convened alongside the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month where it released its first-ever report. The panel was created to place women’s economic empowerment at the top of the global agenda and the 2030 Agenda for… Read more

Women's Business Center in Mongolia 

New Business Center Supports Women Entrepreneurs in Mongolia

September 21, 2016


At first glance, Mongolia appears to be a shining star globally in the realm of women’s empowerment, and in many ways, it is. For example, according to the UN’s Gender Development Index (GDI), women in Mongolia have a longer life expectancy than men (70.2 compared to 63.1), and outnumber men in school attendance across all ages. Women can be seen i… Read more


Bangladesh’s Women Entrepreneurs Push Forward

November 18, 2015


Bangladeshi girls start their lives at a disadvantage that for most only increases as they grow up. Though more than half of the population is female, women and girls are still viewed as second-class citizens whose identities are based on who their father or brother or husband is.


Women’s Labor Rights: The Road Ahead

April 29, 2015


May 1 is International Workers Day. Its origins lie in a peaceful demonstration in 1886 in Chicago’s Haymarket Square that turned violent as frustrated workers petitioned for an eight-hour workday. Since then, workers’ rights around the world have seen significant legal gains, including the right to collective bargaining…


Leveling the Playing Field for China’s Migrant Women Entrepreneurs

December 3, 2014


On this year’s Singles’ Day Sale in China – one of the largest online shopping days in the world – the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba reported sales of more than $9 billion within 24 hours. Just weeks earlier, Alibaba had the largest IPO in U.S. history…


Making ASEAN Regional Connectivity Work for Women-Run Businesses

October 1, 2014


By the end of 2015, the long-anticipated ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is set to come into effect, covering 16 countries, 600 million people, with a combined GDP worth of $2.3 trillion. While the AEC is intended to bring about broad-based economic benefits by creating a more competitive economic region…


Online Work: The Game-Changer for Asia’s Entrepreneurs

July 9, 2014


An exciting tech trend is reshaping Asian workforces. In countries like Bangladesh where the economy is expanding alongside faster broadband speeds and mobile penetration, entrepreneurs and skilled workers looking for employment are turning to online work…


ICT Innovations Connect Bangladesh’s Women Entrepreneurs

May 14, 2014


By 2020, Bangladesh will have a population of 170 million – and half of this population will be made up of women. If the country is to achieve the 8 percent GDP growth it hopes for, making sure that women entrepreneurs are able to reach their full potential and fully contribute…


Advancing Women Business Leadership in Mongolia

May 14, 2014


While Mongolia has made important strides in achieving gender equality, it still has a long way to go when it comes to parity between women and men in business. Currently, it ranks 33rd out of 136 countries according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (2013)…


The Women Leaders Who Drive Aquino’s Reform Agenda

March 5, 2014


For a president who was so greatly influenced by his mother and surrounded by sisters, it’s perhaps not that surprising that Simeon Benigno Aquino III has appointed women to some of the highest positions of his administration. A confirmed bachelor…


Inclusive Growth in Asia is Impossible Without Including Women

March 5, 2014


A report from Oxfam released in late January put down on paper what many already feared was true: almost almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. This is also the case in Asia, where income and wealth disparity is growing rapidly.


Securing a Place for Afghan Women in the Workplace

March 5, 2014


In one month, Afghanistan will hold presidential elections in a critical transition year faced with the drawdown of the remaining international security forces in the country, the growing insurgency, and the impact these events will have on the nation’s economy.


Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Women’s Participation

March 5, 2014


While Asian women are increasingly visible in leadership positions, political participation rates of men and women continue to be vastly unequal. In many countries, women are routinely discouraged from entering public office.


South Asian Women Entrepreneurs Challenge Status Quo

December 18, 2013


It was Sabita Mahajan’s first time flying out of Nepal. She was a bit afraid and nervous on her way from Kathmandu to New Delhi, India, where she was traveling for an exposure tour for businesswomen, hosted by The Asia Foundation.


Women Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh

February 15, 2013

In the Northeastern Bangladesh city of Sylhet, a group of women entrepreneurs have joined together to advocate for better access to loans for women. Through their efforts, more women are now finding the means to grow their own business and boost employment in their region. The Asia Foundation, in partnership with BICF, has provided technical assist… Read more