Blog

Women-only Ride-hailing: New Data from the Market

More ride-hailing companies are offering women-centred services, but do they get women on the road? The next time you open your favourite ride-hailing app, you may find a surprising feature: the option to choose a woman driver or rider. Safety is a determining factor when women decide how, when, or if to drive and travel. … Continue reading Women-only Ride-hailing: New Data from the Market

Interview on CNBC Power Lunch

How to accelerate women participation in Africa’s e-commerce industry. Alexa Roscoe sits down with Zinathi Gquma on CNBC Africa's Power Lunch to discuss the findings of new research that shows how e-commerce can put billions in the hands of women entrepreneurs. To watch the interview visit CNBC Africa.

Building Inclusive Platforms- A Conversation with Jumia and Lazada

The rapid digital transformation underway in many emerging markets has the potential to have an equally transformative impact for women entrepreneurs. However, critical gaps in access to the internet and mobile phones can limit the ability to work in tech-enabled jobs or to compete as entrepreneurs. This event draws on recent IFC research on the rise … Continue reading Building Inclusive Platforms- A Conversation with Jumia and Lazada

Women & E-commerce: A $300 Billion Opportunity

E-commerce is thriving in Africa and Southeast Asia. IFC leveraged data Jumia and Lazada, two of the largest e-commerce platforms in Africa and Southeast Asia respectively, and found that this growth could be even higher if we invest in women entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms. The reports ‘Women and E-commerce in Africa’ and ‘Women and E-commerce … Continue reading Women & E-commerce: A $300 Billion Opportunity

Announcing the Generation Connect Visionaries Board

The Generation Connect Visionaries Board has been assembled as part of the implementation of the ITU Youth Strategy to further champion the voices of youth to advance digital development. Board members are working together over an initial period of a year to achieve the board’s strategic objectives in the build up to WTDC-21 and the Generation Connect Youth Summit. … Continue reading Announcing the Generation Connect Visionaries Board

A conversation with Bolt, PickMe and Uber

What role are women playing in the ride-hailing market? Can ride-hailing improve women’s mobility and work opportunities? From addressing safety to designing new products, hear about the results of three global studies and share in a discussion of practical challenges and solutions from Uber, Bolt, and PickMe. To watch the event, visit the World Bank … Continue reading A conversation with Bolt, PickMe and Uber

Using AI for women’s economic empowerment: How can it work?

Caroline Rubin, Julia Hakspiel and Bobbi Gray from the WEE Working Group spoke with Alexa Roscoe, Disruptive Technology Lead at IFC’s Gender and Economic Inclusion Group, and Lana Graf, Principal Industry Specialist for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at IFC about ways in which digital technologies can support the women’s economic empowerment. How do digital technologies … Continue reading Using AI for women’s economic empowerment: How can it work?

Women & ride-hailing in Sri Lanka

Few industries have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic more than the transport industry. Both the public and private sector, including ride-hailing, are looking for solutions that will ensure a sustainable future. To ensure a resilient recovery from the pandemic and the opportunity to thrive, it is essential for companies not only to create safe … Continue reading Women & ride-hailing in Sri Lanka

After COVID, will women return to ride-hailing?

Increasing evidence shows COVID-19 risks undoing decades of progress for women. Women are often in jobs which are informal or in sectors like retail or tourism that are heavily impacted by the pandemic. Loss of childcare and increased responsibilities at home represent a “parallel crisis” that could keep even more women from the workforce.   However, as markets … Continue reading After COVID, will women return to ride-hailing?

Navigating the debate on women-only transport

Segregated transport remains heavily debated both in terms of its benefits to women and its efficacy within broader transport systems. Proponents claim that it helps meet women’s urgent needs for safe transportation, one of the biggest barriers to women’s economic participation, and represents an important step forward for women whose movement is constrained. Critics claim … Continue reading Navigating the debate on women-only transport

#Digital2Equal: Expanding opportunities for women

This movement is a result of a partnership with the European Commission and unites leaders across the tech sector in order to utilize online marketplace to enhance opportunities for women competing in emerging markets. The initiative seeks to ensure that emerging technologies and business models—including the platform economy—benefit both women and men. Women already lag … Continue reading #Digital2Equal: Expanding opportunities for women

Five things a global study on ride-hailing tells us about women and the sharing economy

The opportunities and risks of sharing economy models are particularly relevant for women, as they both have more to gain from greater participation and more to lose if they are excluded from new forms of income or assets. With this new research, ride-hailing companies are well-placed take the lead in putting women at the center … Continue reading Five things a global study on ride-hailing tells us about women and the sharing economy

The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield

An engaging discussion of the South African report findings for "Driving Toward Equality" took place on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield. "He plays host to major players in the business arena, from blue-chip company CEOs to industry experts, and the entrepreneurs making waves in South Africa. Bruce interviews a well-known guest about their attitudes … Continue reading The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield

Promoting gender equality across the online marketplace

A new initiative called Digital2Equal reflects on how platforms are becoming a priority for the World Bank Group as it works to close gender gaps in the digital economy. “Disruptive technologies can close gaps between men and women,” Alexa Roscoe, who manages the initiative, said at an event IFC hosted last week in San Francisco, … Continue reading Promoting gender equality across the online marketplace

Driving towards equality: Women, ride-hailing, and the sharing economy

"On March 1, 2018, IFC launched the report... which explores how women and men participate in ride-hailing, particularly in emerging markets. The report uses data from Uber and survey results of more than 11,000 drivers and riders. It sheds light on how the emergence of ride-hailing is affecting women's work and mobility and how companies … Continue reading Driving towards equality: Women, ride-hailing, and the sharing economy

Women and innovation: Making the connection

There is growing evidence that greater gender equality leads to increased business innovation, and companies that pay attention stand to reap great rewards. The business case for gender equality is compelling, and few still doubt that investing in women as employees and entrepreneurs leads to increased productivity and profitability. But one piece of the puzzle … Continue reading Women and innovation: Making the connection

Two major trends that herald the future of the collaborative economy

There’s a lot of talk about the collaborative economy (CE), also known as the sharing economy.  What most commentary overlooks, however, is the fact that the CE has matured, and as it has done so, changed drastically. Here are two major trends that discussions on the CE are missing . #1:  The collaborative economy- and its user … Continue reading Two major trends that herald the future of the collaborative economy

How the Internet of Everything can jumpstart CSR

The internet of everything will help address four fundamental corporate responsibility challenges.  This blog is a summary of the 2015 Davies Award winning entry on the Internet of Everything, sponsored by the Althea Foundation, Cisco and the University of Oxford Said School of Business.  Applications of the internet of everything (IOE) range from the gimmicky … Continue reading How the Internet of Everything can jumpstart CSR

Three differences between social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs that people don’t talk about

Most literature implies that the successful intrapreneur needs most of the same attitudes and tools as the entrepreneur; in other words, that the intrapreneur is just an entrepreneur who happens to work within an established company. In fact, beyond the drive to innovate, there are arguably more differences than similarities between the two. Here are … Continue reading Three differences between social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs that people don’t talk about

Data poverty: How the rise of big data risks marginalizing the world’s poorest

Reframing the problems of big data: When the implications of big data are debated the problem most often presented is that of data surplus. Questions of what applications produce what data, or what companies have access to it, all rest on the assumption that a great deal of data is available for analysis. These questions … Continue reading Data poverty: How the rise of big data risks marginalizing the world’s poorest

Towards an ecosystem for women’s financial inclusion- what next?

Recently I had the honor of presenting at the PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy, hosted by the Oxford University Saïd Business School. PowerShift was hands down the most inspiring conference I have ever attended, largely because it drew together companies, NGOs and academics in a way which not only gave participants a … Continue reading Towards an ecosystem for women’s financial inclusion- what next?

The top MBAs for social business specialists

Recently I described three reasons that social entrepreneurs, or anyone else interested in social business, should ignore MBA rankings. Standard rankings are designed in a way which inadvertently penalizes universities with any claim to focus in social enterprise. This leaves aspiring MBAs with a problem- if the rankings don’t work, how to decide the best … Continue reading The top MBAs for social business specialists

Three reasons social entrepreneurs should ignore MBA rankings

When I was applying for an MBA, there was one piece of advice that I received over and over: whatever you do, go to a school in the top ten global rankings- preferably one in the top five. School reputation and networking, it was said, counted just as much as academics. Since I was looking … Continue reading Three reasons social entrepreneurs should ignore MBA rankings

Microfranchising for development: The case of Krishi Utsho

The development world has long embraced micro-finance, and there is a lot of hype about micro-entrepreneurs, but what exactly is a micro-franchise? A micro-what? Micro-franchising "has its roots in traditional franchising, which is the practice of copying a successful business and replicating it at another location by following a consistent set of well-defined processes and procedures." … Continue reading Microfranchising for development: The case of Krishi Utsho

Three insights on feminist economics from Oxford PowerShift

Last week I had the honor of speaking at Oxford’s PowerShift Conference on Women in the World Economy. Rarely have I been in one room with so many accomplished women and rarely have I come away from any event feeling so inspired. Part of the feeling came from the many leaders who are reshaping women’s … Continue reading Three insights on feminist economics from Oxford PowerShift

Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment

Empowering women is not without risks – we need to identify and overcome them. There’s a statistic that most development practitioners will have heard quite frequently: empowering women farmers would decrease the number of hungry by up to 150 million. There are many facts like it, all meant to make the case for women’s economic empowerment. … Continue reading Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment

Three consequences of over-hyping social enterprise

Putting entrepreneurs on a pedestal holds back the advancement of social entrepreneurism as a field Fast Company recently published an article asking if the term “entrepreneur” has “got too popular for its own good”. The answer, suffice to say, was a resounding “yes”. I’d argue that much of the same logic could be applied to … Continue reading Three consequences of over-hyping social enterprise

Hanging by a thread: Workers’ rights and lives

I was working in my room on the fourth floor of a hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh's busy capital, when I saw a man hanging by a rope. To be precise, he was suspended on a fragile-looking piece of wood tied to a single swaying cord. The words emblazoned on his t-shirt read "Jesus ♥ Me". … Continue reading Hanging by a thread: Workers’ rights and lives

Demystifying social enterprise and inclusive business

This year’s Skoll World Forum on Social Enterprise only confirmed the accelerating levels of interest in social business. The event brought together representatives from the private, public and non-profit sectors, all of whom agreed on one point: inclusive business is the future. However, there is one point which lacked any degree of accord: namely, what … Continue reading Demystifying social enterprise and inclusive business