It's her business: A handbook for preparing young, at-risk women to become entrepreneurs

Published: April 2010

This document presents a practical resource for organizations seeking to start or strengthen entrepreneurship programs for young, at-risk women. It outlines the essential components of successful entrepreneurship programs, discusses common challenges and considerations, and provides other useful tips and resources. For use with young women in their late teens or early twenties.

Key Findings

  • Interest in microfinance and entrepreneurship as promising strategies for lifting women out of poverty.
  • Increased attention to adolescent girls as levers of community development.
  • The link between girls' personal and economic empowerment and improvements in their sexual and reproductive health.
  • Lessons learned from the education sector regarding the impact of education and mentoring on girls' lifelong income potential and other positive trajectories.
  • Their options to earn income remain limited for a variety of reasons:
  • Not enough formal jobs exist for all youth who seek employment.
  • Because young women often cannot get to school or have to quit school early, their lack of education limits their employment possibilities.
  • Young women struggle to balance work schedules with childcare and other household responsibilities.
  • Young women are called upon by their families to help in times of emergency. If they do not have their own money (or access to it), they sometimes end up getting money by engaging in risky behaviors.
  • Cultural beliefs about what is and is not appropriate work for a woman lead to hiring discrimination and a lack of training opportunities for young women.

Populations Adolescent Girls

Complementary Outcomes HIV/AIDS, Sexual And Reproductive Health

Publishers EMpower - The Emerging Markets Foundation

Funded by Nike Foundation