WCI’s Economic Empowerment curriculum equips women to take on larger roles in household financial decisions and start their own businesses through training in business and financial literacy skills, entrepreneurship, and basic budgeting. WCI has found programs that encourage women’s economic ventures will significantly increase women’s self-confidence, their ability to manage household finances, and ultimately impact broader social change.


 

Transformative Campaigns

AFGHANISTAN

Connecting businesswomen with financial tools and institutions for growth.

To kick off our 2018 program in Afghanistan, a workshop focusing on the role of media in women's empowerment was hosted in conjunction with Afghanistan's Ministry of Women's Affairs in Kabul. Participants discussed the role of the media as an important tool for communicating messages, and analyzed how the media can provide a space for disparate campaigns to identify opportunities and encourage more women to participate in political and social leadership at community levels. The workshop provided a critical space for participants to network with other women and men who are working for women's empowerment and to share the experiences and challenges that they are facing in their communities. The workshop concluded with participants brainstorming how to move forward and change the media's narrative of women from a story of victimization to a message of empowerment.

With support from Azizi Bank and in collaboration with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), WCI also initiated economic empowerment workshops in the provinces of Parwan, Panjshir, & Bamyan in 2018-2019. In total, 150 businesswomen participated in the workshops, in addition to media and guests. The workshops provided a platform for women entrepreneurs to connect with financial institutions and learn about tools to grow their businesses. Participants learned how to effectively access various loan and credit products to ensure that women become integrated in financial sector activities.

 

LIBERIA

training rural women in financial literacy and entrepreneurship

The program was based on the development hypotheses that if rural women increase both their civic and economic participation, they will make a significant positive impact on the country as a whole, as it transitions from war. The program's reach, through direct and indirect trainings, has reached and impacted approximately 20,000 women.

Starting in 2009, WCI partnered with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, a project to foster economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs around the world with business education and access to capital.

In Liberia, WCI's program provided nearly 300 women with entrepreneurship training, business advising and mentoring. Topics covered in the workshops are determined as a result of in-depth discussions with alumni leadership ensuring that the curriculum is relevant and useful. Topics included value-added agribusiness, country cloth business skills, and basic business and budgeting skills. Throughout the lessons WCI encourages the women to work together and share ideas, while providing them with a safe space to make mistakes and ask questions. The women are then prompted to make connections to their own finances from the hypothetical situations presented during the lesson. As a result, participants leave the trainings with a concrete set of skills and the practical background knowledge to implement it in their daily lives. 

The culmination of the program is a trade fair that was open to the public. Graduates of the program were given the opportunity to expand their networks and put their new skills to use.

 

TIMOR-LESTE

training rural women in financial literacy and entrepreneurship

WCI worked in Timor-Leste from 2015-2017 to building the capacity of local organizations to empower women under the U.S. Department of State’s Global Women, Peace, and Security Initiative. WCI's inaugural program focused on peace building and women's empowerment by working with local NGO Ba Futuru to train rural women in financial and business literacy, peace building, community mobilization, and conflict prevention. Each of the 91 participants left trainings with an action plan on how to acheieve their professional, personal, and family goals. Women were able to open their own shops and businesses throughout the course of the program, many of which are still open today.

With the support of SAGE Publishing, Ba Futuru and WCI also put on community theater performances about women’s rights and the benefits of women’s economic empowerment, reaching hundreds of community members.




ANGOLA

Business, budgeting, & gender dynamics

In 2014 WCI conducted an assessment to study the gender dynamics of the Aldeia Nova community in Angola. We then conducted Training of Trainers, town hall meetings, and developed  a curriculum on leadership and organizational development, entrepreneurship and business, family budgeting, community building activities

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