Increasing Women’s Economic Opportunities


Opportunities for the Development of Women-Led Businesses and Clusters via Collective Marks and Certifications Marks

December 7, 2023


In Mongolia, micro and small businesses, often led by women entrepreneurs, face various challenges, including a weak supply chain, transportation issues, lack of networks, and barriers to accessing finance, among others. Among the pressing issues are: Investment: A lack of collateral complicates access to loans, while non-bank financial institution… Read more


Toward a Resilient Care Ecosystem in Asia and the Pacific: Reflection on the Bali Care Economy Dialogue

Washington, DC, Thursday, January 12, 2023

Events Post

  The Asia Foundation and the U.S. Department of State’s Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues are pleased to announce a virtual reflection session that will provide an overview of a recent regional convening—the Bali Care Economy Dialogue—that took place in November 2022 to leverage global momentum around transforming the care economy w… Read more


Asia Foundation partners with AT&T and Visa to launch “Accelerate” in Malaysia and Indonesia

February 8, 2022

News Post

The Asia Foundation is collaborating with AT&T and Visa to launch the Accelerate program, an initiative that will help 6,000 women-led micro, small and medium-sized (MSMEs) enterprises in rural and remote communities gain practical skills to sustain and grow their business. In Malaysia, this initiative is fully endorsed and supported by the Min… Read more


Virtual Seminar: The Impact of Covid-19 on Small Businesses in Southeast Asia: A Deeper Look at the Women’s Workforce in Thailand and Malaysia (English Only)

Monday, February 21, 2022

Events Post

18:30-20:00 (JST) The Asia Foundation Japan presents this webinar co-hosted by Shizenkan University. The presentations will highlight the recent report Barely Staying Afloat: The Impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs in Southeast Asia. It explores the impact of early Covid-19 lockdowns on micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Southeast Asia…. Read more

Ribbon cutting for new WBC 

The Asia Foundation Expands Support for Women Entrepreneurs in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, December 3, 2021

News Post

The Asia Foundation Mongolia established the first satellite branch of its Women’s Business Center (WBC) in Arvaikheer, Uvurkhangai aimag with support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, the Australian Government, and the private philanthropy group the Lotus Circle. The WBC supports current and aspiring women entrepreneurs… Read more


Accelerating Women’s Advancement in STEM: Emerging Lessons on Network Strategies and Approaches

June 28, 2021


Networks, both formal and informal, play a pivotal role in helping girls and women enter and succeed in STEM fields. They do this by facilitating peer support, role models, mentorship and sponsorship, opportunities for technical and soft skills development, knowledge exchange and collaboration, visibility, and more. This Asia Foundation report show… Read more


The Asia Foundation and Zendesk Invest in Women’s STEM Networks in Asia

Singapore, March 29, 2021

News Post

The Asia Foundation and Zendesk are partnering on a new social impact initiative to track and sustain women’s leadership networks in East and Southeast Asia in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The pandemic threatens to widen already serious gaps in women’s participation in the labor force and STEM fields specifically; a foc… Read more


Economically Empowering Women in Mongolia

February 24, 2021


The Asia Foundation’s Women’s Economic Empowerment project supports women’s organizations to work on a range of economic empowerment issues, while building capacity, and multi-stakeholder coalitions to pursue changes that create an enabling environment for women to participate fully in Mongolia’s economy.


Asia Foundation Launches Women’s Economic Empowerment Project in Mongolia

Ulaanbaatar, October 26, 2020

News Post

On September 25th, The Asia Foundation launched a four-year Women’s Economic Empowerment Project in Mongolia funded by Global Affairs Canada. The launch event was attended by a range of leaders active in Mongolia’s gender equality movement. Those gathered represented Mongolian civil society, government, the private sector, international organizatio… Read more


India’s Emerging Gig Economy: The Future of Work for Women

July 23, 2020


This pilot study seeks to understand the role of India’s growing platform-based gig economy on women’s employment and working conditions. It presents an in-depth study of women’s work through the lens of India’s leading platform companies, and aims to understand the emerging forms of labor practices and the impact of platform engagement on workers’… Read more


Funding Women Entrepreneurs on Mongolia’s Covid Front Line

July 8, 2020

Blog Post

Mongolia has been a Covid-19 success story, but the early lockdown that kept the virus at bay has also battered the economy, and no one has felt it more than Mongolia’s small businesswomen.


Getting Her Gig on: The Future of Work for Indian Women

March 4, 2020

Blog Post

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Indian women are still too often excluded from the formal economy. But they’re finding a place in the gig economy, thanks to a raft of tech start-ups that have given them new freedom, flexibility, and economic dignity.


Girls Can Do Anything

January 22, 2020

Blog Post

Michelle Obama came to December’s Grassroots Leaders Roundtable in Vietnam to deliver an urgent message: some of the world’s best minds are going undeveloped because of our failure to educate girls.


100 Female Scholars in Rural Cambodia Complete Girls Learning & Leading Program

Phhom Penh, December 17, 2019

News Post

Shiseido Asia Pacific and The Asia Foundation have successfully concluded the inaugural Girls Learning & Leading (GLL) program, a scholarship program empowering marginalized young women at a critical time when many drop out of school to find paying jobs. The first cohort of 102 female scholars in Cambodia completed the eight-month program with… Read more


Female Employment Stagnation in Bangladesh

December 4, 2018


It is now widely accepted that women’s labor market participation improves their relative economic position, and from a broader perspective also stimulates the efficiency and development potential of the economy. However, traditional gender norms and patriarchal values often restrict women’s mobility and constrain their activities in the labor mark… Read more

Bangladesh women entrepreneur 

No Silver Bullet for Women Entrepreneurs

November 7, 2018

Blog Post

Women’s entrepreneurship is a top regional concern in Asia, where women own more than half of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in some countries. Even where women are starting businesses at relatively high rates, however, their profits and growth are constrained relative to their male counterparts. In Cambodia, for example, less than 1… Read more


The Asia Foundation’s Migrant Women Program in China Selected for Moody’s Reshape Tomorrow Initiative

October 25, 2018

News Post

The Asia Foundation today announced its selection on Moody’s Corporation’s inaugural list of partners for Reshape Tomorrow™, an innovative, global program to help owners of small and growing businesses overcome the challenges of expanding their enterprises. The selected Asia Foundation program, “Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneurship: Supportin… Read more


Asia Foundation and Asian Development Bank Launch Publication on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific

Washington, D.C., October 18, 2018

News Post

Today, The Asia Foundation and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a new publication, Emerging Lessons on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific: Case Studies from the Asian Development Bank and The Asia Foundation. The joint undertaking explores the most pressing challenges women entrepreneurs face in the region and includes compel… Read more


Emerging Lessons on Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Asia-Pacific

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Events Post

9:30 am – 11:00 am Choate Room, 1st Floor, 1779 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 Women’s entrepreneurship is increasingly understood to be a key driver of economic growth and job creation: an estimated $4.5 trillion could be added to Asia and the Pacific’s GDP by 2025 by closing the gender disparities in economic opportunities. Widely rec… Read more


Advancing Gender Equality in Asia

September 12, 2018

Blog Post

Earlier this year, the G7 launched the Gender Equality Advisory Council to promote the integration of gender equality and gender-based analysis across all G7 activities and outcomes. As part of Canada’s presidency of the G7 during 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “Gender equality must play a key role in creating lasting solutions to the ch… Read more


Gender Mainstreaming in Subnational Governance: Myanmar’s Fisheries and Livestock Sectors

August 15, 2018


In Myanmar, there is a general attitude that issues affecting women fall exclusively under the purview of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief, and Resettlement. This policy paper explores how gender mainstreaming in subnational governance can take place outside of what is typically considered women-centric policy domains in Myanmar, using the fi… Read more


No Women, No Growth

July 18, 2018

Blog Post

The 2018 Chatham House International Policy Forum convened last week at a time of international angst. Two British cabinet ministers had resigned over Brexit negotiations, creating more uncertainty around the tenure of Prime Minister May. President Trump’s contentious meeting with NATO officials sparked questions about the U.S. commitment to that i… Read more


Undrakh’s Journey

July 9, 2018


The Women’s Business Center Incubator Project (WBC Project) addresses a critical demand from women entrepreneurs to receive day-to-day professional and high-quality business support and development. The Center provides services in an enabling environment that fosters women’s entrepreneurship and supports small and medium cover a… Read more


Building an Entrepreneurship Ecosystem for Women in Mongolia

May 23, 2018

Blog Post

For many Mongolians, the booming capital, Ulaanbaatar, is synonymous with economic opportunity and a new life. Half the population now lives in the capital, most of them in the so-called ger areas, unplanned districts often lacking essential infrastructure like water and electricity and isolated from commercial activity. Starting a business here an… Read more


Live Tweet Chat on Women’s Economic Empowerment

May 3, 2017

Blog Post

Today, The Asia Foundation joined eight partner organizations for a day-long tweet chat focusing on different aspects of women’s economic empowerment. The robust discussion was in preparation for the upcoming Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Learning Forum on May 23-25 in Bangkok. The Forum, hosted by The SEEP Network and in collaboration with F… Read more