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

July 31, 2019

5 Questions with Cristina Manfre, Global Gender Director

Cristina Manfre, TechnoServe's new global gender director, answers questions about her background, what drew her to TechnoServe, and what aspect of her work she is most passionate about.

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June 5, 2019

Empowering Women in Coffee

In part two of our weeklong series, we highlight our work promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the coffee value chain.

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April 11, 2019

Introducing a New Way to Share Development Knowledge

TechnoServe has developed a new interactive tool to share lessons from our work.

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More Posts

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

Female Workforces Can Revolutionize Latin American Business. Here’s how | World Economic Forum Agenda

This article explains why good gender practices are good business for small enterprises in Central America.

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.

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Event Appearances

February 18, 2019

ANDE Metrics from the Ground Up Conference

Mérida, Mexico

James Tinker shares insights about measuring the impact of TechnoServe's programs on female entrepreneurs.

December 5, 2018

Women and the Future of Work: The Fourth Annual Birdsall House Conference on Women

Washington, DC

TechnoServe Director of Impact Kate Diaz discusses a project to improve business performance and increase savings for women entrepreneurs.

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.

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