(The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Al-Fanar Media).
“Why do we need gender-specific entrepreneurship programs?”
The question is posed by the economist Sara Cantillon, director of the Centre for Economic Justice and a professor of economics and gender at Glasgow Caledonian University’s Glasgow School for Business and Society.
The answer is that female entrepreneurs face several difficulties with different gender-specific dimensions, including access to finance, access to specific education programs, skill mismatches of women in employment, and lack of business opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Professor Cantillon has been working with SPARK to develop a gender-sensitive entrepreneurship curriculum for a training program the Dutch nongovernmental organization is offering in collaboration with UN Women, the United Nations’ organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. The program’s goal is to offer regional support to women entrepreneurs in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East whose businesses are vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19. (See a related article, “Job Creation Efforts in the Middle East Hit a New Snag: Covid-19.”)
The training has seven e-learning and blended-learning modules on gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, business development skills, and sustainable livelihoods in underdeveloped and/or developing countries.