A guide to entrepreneurship training programs for women in low and lower-middle income countries




Richards, Laura Ruth

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This thesis proposes an evidenced-based model for an entrepreneurship training program aimed at women in low and lower-middle income countries. The model was informed by a meta-synthesis evaluation of seventy-seven similar programs. The evaluations were coded and ranked based on quality, validity, reliability, transparency, bias and ethics. Best practices, data trends and conditions for success of these programs were extrapolated from the meta-evaluation and applied in the example business model described. The key drivers of a program’s success included: the use of multi-pronged approaches, the addition of mentors or coaches, community inclusion in program design, program flexibility, clear monetary gains, public-private partnerships, customization, and continuing support post-program. The example program, called Business Innovations for Good, includes these elements and includes an environmental sustainability component, as many women entrepreneurs in low and low-middle countries work in the agricultural sector. The business model analyzes the market and competitive landscape, as well as describing the financial situation and team structure. Business Innovations for Good is not intended to serve as an ideal program, but it is meant to be a step toward research-based programming and implementation. Further research is still needed into what causes the success or failure of an entrepreneurship training program in a low or low-middle income country. Additionally, it is crucial that program evaluators set and practice more stringent evaluation standards in order to more accurately measure the true impact these programs have on their participants, their participants’ businesses, and their communities.


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