Women's economic empowerment

CECI strengthens women's economic power by developing their skills for employment and entrepreneurship.

We foster women’s business development services and the promotion of more inclusive value chains and entrepreneurial ecosystems. In addition, we encourage policy reforms and improved access to innovative and inclusive financial services, including impact investing and blended finance.

CECI defines women's economic power as the ability of women to generate and manage sufficient resources to ensure their autonomy and fulfillment within their families and communities, as well as their power to influence decision-making processes in relation to economic policies in line with the vision and priorities for a just and sustainable development.

Overview of the current situation


billion women worldwide do not have the same economic rights as men (World Bank)


countries have legal barriers that limit women's participation in the economy (World Bank)

Promoting change

IssuesMarket systems are not sufficiently inclusive and limit opportunities in disadvantaged communities, in particular for women and girls.

Women and young women, particularly those from disadvantaged communities, face many obstacles to controlling the economic resources they produce, accessing quality education and financial services.  They struggle to create and grow businesses, or even simply to access quality, well-paying jobs that enable them to live decently. Financial and economic development opportunities and services are not easily accessible, often discriminatory and poorly adapted to their specific needs. Overall, market systems do not sufficiently include them, which reduces their role and value within the local economy. Added to this is an often hostile business ecosystem limiting women's participation in decision-making, as well as an inequitable division of unpaid family and domestic tasks that prevents them from turning to other activities.

Our ApproachesCECI empowers women economically.
  1. Supporting women in acquiring technical, digital and social skills to improve their ability to develop a business and/or access and retain quality employment.

  2. Strengthening women-led individual and collective ventures by improving business models, value chain inclusiveness and access to markets, as well as providing inclusive development services and facilitating access to impact investments and blended finance.

  3. Fostering transformative gender reforms of the business ecosystem to increase women's leadership in decision-making.

  4. Facilitating inclusive policy dialogue and advocating for reform of government and private sector policies and services to better address unpaid care work and gender-based violence.

Expected changesWomen are increasing and controlling their incomes and enhancing their influence.

Thus transformed, economic ecosystems foster the development of women’s skills and confidence, ensuring better access to decent jobs, quality services tailored to their needs (including financial services) and the construction of more inclusive economic environments. With increased ability to find quality employment and to manage and grow their businesses, women and young women see their incomes increase, over which they exercise greater control. More fulfilled and autonomous, they operate within a supportive and inclusive business ecosystem and have a greater say in the decision-making bodies of their companies.

Our impact

200,000 women entrepreneurs have been supported by CECI in West Africa, increasing income and improving the socio-economic conditions of over one million people.

Documentation center

Policy and institutional document

Economic Empowerment of Women. CECI’s Approach
All countries

Research & publication

The Atitlán Recicla Project: Driving Collective Impact for Women's Economic Empowerment and Environmental Sustainability

Research & publication

Renforcement du pouvoir économique des femmes Le cas de la filière karité et de l’étuvage du riz au Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso

Our other priorities for action