Browse by Theme: Entrepreneurs

Masuda, Shankori and Shilpi are entrepreneurial midwives who are improving health access in one of the most remote districts in Bangladesh, where maternal and under-5 mortality rates have fallen dramatically in recent years. These powerful women are also generating more income for their families and changing social norms. Having met them on a trip to Bangladesh, Kate Barwise considers what can be learned from their successes and how to support more women like them to help more communities.

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For 27 years CARE has worked with communities to support Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) so that women living in poverty can save, invest and improve their lives. Our new Global Reach report shows astounding progress in the global spread and impact of these community-based financial solutions. Today 6.7 million people across 46 countries are saving and managing more than US$433 million per year through CARE VSLAs. Ahead of the SEEP Network SG2018 global savings group conference in Rwanda this week, this success prompts the question: ‘‘how many more women and girls could benefit from participating in a VSLA?”

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Together with a colleague, Professor Malcolm Harper, I recently spent 18 months researching and editing a book on Islamic microfinance – which is defined as Shari’ah compliant financial services for poor people. Here are some of the key findings.

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The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has recently published a report on DFID’s approach to supporting inclusive growth in Africa – A learning review. Given the major increase in DFID’s economic development budget over the last few years (to £1.8 billion in 2015-16 – more than doubling the amount spent in 2012-13) and the publication at the start of this year of DFID’s new Economic Development Strategy, ICAI’s review of the evidence being used to structure DFID’s spend and programming is timely. It aims to answer a question of great interest to CARE: how DFID manages the dilemma between focusing on transformational growth and ensuring that the poor are able to benefit from it.

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We often talk about providing people with skills, knowledge and tools so they can improve their lives – but sometimes the impact is hard to quantify. So how does the fact that more than 90% of women’s businesses grew over the course of the Skilling for Change programme sound?

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Women’s economic empowerment is one of four priority areas for CARE’s work, as set out in the CARE 2020 Program Strategy. This strategy on women’s economic empowerment sets out what CARE will do to meet our aim of 30 million women having greater access to and control over economic resources by 2020.

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South Sudan has endured many decades of violent conflict. To escape from the cycle of destruction and revenge, the Compromise Peace Agreement signed in August 2015 presents an opportunity for national authorities and the international community to adopt a new approach. This paper draws on CARE’s integrated approach to peacebuilding and economic development to argue that community reconciliation and economic development should be given equal weight in strategy decisions by national authorities, donors and aid agencies.

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