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IFC, World Bank Promote Reforms to Increase Women's Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

Submitted by: International Finance Corporation

Categories: Research, Reports & Publications, Human Resources & Diversity

Posted: Mar 17, 2010 – 01:17 PM EST


WASHINGTON, D.C., Mar. 17 /CSRwire/ - IFC and the World Bank, members of the World Bank Group, today are launching a guide that will help policymakers and development practitioners design and implement reforms to increase women's participation in the private sector in developing countries.

The first guide of its kind, Gender Dimensions of Investment Climate Reform, looks at policy, legal, and regulatory reforms through a gender lens. It presents economic arguments for countries to promote women in business and offers innovative solutions as well as action tools to design and implement these reforms.

"Countries that do not capitalize on the potential of women run the risk of severely undermining their competitiveness and economic growth," said Sevi Simavi, Global Product Leader and lead author of the publication. "This guide is designed to help capture this untapped potential and expand opportunities for economic development."

The guide focuses on reforming areas key to increase women's participation in the private sector, including starting a business, dispute resolution, and participation in public policy making.

"Working on reforms to foster women's entrepreneurship is our strategic priority," said Pierre Guislain, Director of the Investment Climate Department of the World Bank Group. "This publication builds on our extensive experience working with governments on business-enabling environment issues and responds to the increasing demand from governments and practitioners for guidance on how to promote women's economic participation."

The tools listed in the publication are being applied in IFC and other World Bank Group-supported programs carried out in a dozen countries in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South East Asia.

Gender Dimensions of Investment Climate Reform is endorsed by Graca Machel, international women's right advocate, and Melanne Verveer, the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues. It was produced in partnership with the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom.

About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit,, and

For more information, please contact:

Katia Theriault Communications Officer
Phone: 202-458-9704

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International Finance Corporation


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