Women’s Economic Empowerment

TechnoServe’s experience shows that we create greater impact when we effectively engage and benefit both men and women.

Yet in many countries where TechnoServe works, women continue to face tremendous barriers to success. They have limited access to productive resources such as land, finance and information that they need to grow their farms and businesses, and they are disproportionately affected by poverty, violence and discrimination.

Investing in opportunities for women pays off: studies have found that relative to men, women tend to spend more of their income on family needs such as food, medical care and schooling.

If women farmers had the same access as men to training information and resources, they could increase production on their farms by up to 30 percent. Your donation of just $30 can help close the gap for women farmers.


Why it Matters

Our Expertise

Blog Posts

March 19, 2018

Female Workforces Can Revolutionize Latin American Business. Here’s How.

In an article for the World Economic Forum, TechnoServe's Program Director for Central America Entrepreneurship discusses ways to engage entrepreneurs in practices that not only benefit women workeres and suppliers, but help solve some of the most common issues facing small and medium businesses.

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March 15, 2018

How Access to Finance is Helping Rural Women Entrepreneurs Improve their Incomes and Status in India

Indu Devi made her living producing fox nut snacks, but cultural gender norms held her and other women entrepreneurs back from business success. With access to formal financing and business training, she's integrated her enterprise into a profitable snack company.

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March 14, 2018

How Women Agronomists in Ethiopia are Helping Improve Gender Equality

In Ethiopia, 75 percent of the work in the coffee value chain is carried out by women, whereas only 43 percent of the income is earned by those same women. Kebebushe is one of 79 agronomists working with Nespresso to support more than 40,000 coffee farmers with best farming practices, and to improve the status of women throughout the value chain.

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TechnoServe is helping enterprising women in developing countries build competitive farms and businesses to break the cycle of poverty. Our work includes an explicit focus on generating opportunities for women by connecting them to capital, networks and supply chains.

Typical approaches include:

  • Supporting women-dominated income sources to grow both household income and increase women’s income control
  • Jointly training both husband and wife on agricultural best practices and business skills to increase adoption rates and joint household decision-making which reduces conflict and empowers women
  • Developing and driving the business case for employing, sourcing from and servicing women
  • Improving women’s access to financial services and other productive inputs
  • Promoting both male and female gender role models


Gender equality means recognizing that men and women often have different needs and constraints and therefore often have differing value to contribute to social and economic development. TechnoServe draws upon gender aware research and hands on field experience to design projects which understand and takes into account these differences. These projects seek to enable the full and unencumbered participation of both women and men to drive inclusive economic growth.

With the support of corporate partners like The Coca-Cola Company and Nespresso and institutional partners like USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, TechnoServe increased the revenue and wages of 110,000 women in 2015.

By 2017, TechnoServe aims to ensure that at least 40 percent of our beneficiaries will be women, in line with women's participation in agriculture and in small-medium enterprises in the countries we work in. Help empower enterprising women today by becoming a monthly donor.

Case Studies

Encouraging Women Coffee Farmers’ Participation

Discover how TechnoServe’s Cosechemos Más Café (Better Coffee Harvest) project is helping women earn more from their coffee farms.

Creating Opportunity for Women Through Innovative Business Models

Working with agribusinesses in Zimbabwe, TechnoServe helped create more economic opportunities for women through new business practices.

Empowering Women Cocoa Farmers in Tanzania

TechnoServe’s Cocoa Quality and Market Access project is promoting women’s engagement and leadership in cocoa farming communities.

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Thought Leadership

In the News

How Young Women Can Find Opportunities in African Agriculture | The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

TechnoServe's Dace Mahanay describes the STRYDE program's success helping women find opportunities in Africa's agricultural sector.

Kellogg’s New Push to Help Women Smallholder Farmers | GreenBiz

On International Women’s Day, Kellogg is launching a new program phase in partnership with TechnoServe to help 12,000 women who are smallholder farmers in India receive training.

Empowering Women Is Critical for Economic Growth (Unilever) | Huffington Post

Unilever highlights its work with TechnoServe to empower women in Nigeria through the creation of women-led Water Centres.

Cairn India to Celebrate International Women’s Day in line with UN’s Theme of Gender Equality | Business Wire India

Cairn's Barmer Unnati project, in partnership with TechnoServe, is working with farmers to introduce new crops and innovate new livelihoods.

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Event Appearances

December 8, 2016

Unleashing the Potential of Women Entrepreneurs

Boston, MA

TechnoServe C.E.O. William Warshauer speaks about the barriers to women's economic empowerment in developing countries. 

September 20-22, 2016

TOPS/FSN Network East & Southern Africa Regional Knowledge Sharing Meeting

Kampala, Uganda

Amanda Satterly, TechnoServe's Director of Gender Initiatives, participates in a panel discussion on engaging both women and men in order to improve food security.

March 7-8, 2016

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s International Women’s Day Forum

New York, NY

TechnoServe's Katarina Kahlmann presents insights about helping women farmers find economic opportunities.

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Full Resource Library