Women’s Business Center Infographic
Our Women’s Economic Empowerment project in Mongolia addresses a critical demand from women entrepreneurs to receive business support and development services in an enabling environment that fosters women’s entrepreneurship and supports small and medium businesses as one of the project’s pathways to enhance women’s leadership in the Mongolian economy. The major challenges faced by women entrepreneurs that limit their opportunities to grow and upscale their businesses include a lack of business-related knowledge and skills, being excluded from networks and associations, limited access to information, lack of access to finance, dual care, unpaid care responsibilities, and domestic violence.
To address these challenges, in 2016, The Asia Foundation, Mongolia launched the Women’s Business Center (WBC) with generous funding from KOICA. At the time, it was the first women-only space dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs. The WBC continues its operations today with support from Global Affairs Canada, serving as an ecosystem that provides comprehensive support for women entrepreneurs. This support includes tailored training for all-stage women entrepreneurs, personalized mentorship and consultations, networking events, workshops, sales-boosting events, and pop-up shops. The WBC also offers rent-free physical spaces for its clients to run their business, a shared office, and a computer room. Under the Women’s Economic Empowerment project between 2020 and 2023, the physical spaces of WBC expanded to first a satellite branch in Arvaikheer, Uvurkhangai Province, and then a post-incubator space at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, supported by the Global Affairs Canada.
As of 2023, WBC has provided training for more than 14,800 women through 1,110 business training and financial consulting sessions and has served more than 8,700 active members, contributing significantly to improving entrepreneurship skills for women-led businesses through intensive support over time. Further, to cater to the needs of more advanced women entrepreneurs, the WBC also offers Business Incubator and Accelerator Programs that provide advanced training and personalized mentorship programs on effective business and financial management. To date, 14 cohorts of these programs have been organized with 116 graduates.