Advancing Women’s Entrepreneurship in South Asia

Advancing Women’s Entrepreneurship in South Asia

South Asian Women’s Development Forum (SAWDF) organized a two day conference in partnership with South Asia Women’s Entrepreneurs Symposium (SAWES) on “Advancing Women’s Entrepreneurship in South Asia”, on 20th, 21st, September, 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The primary objective of the two-day regional conference was to identify and prioritize various issues on entrepreneurship and economic empowerment of women to build a common strategy for promoting women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. The conference was attended by 40 delegates from the SAARC Region including Myanmar.

A diverse and dynamic group of speakers and panelists provided in-depth insight, as well as, actionable and practical tools of engagement models, methods and mechanisms  for strengthening  the economic empowerment of women in South Asia.

Three sessions were discussed on day 1, 20th September

Session 1: Breaking the Glass Ceiling – Case Studies of Successful Women Entrepreneurs from the SAARC Region

Session 2: Women in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises: A South Asia Experience

Session 3: Launch of Online Market Place for Women Entrepreneurs


Three sessions were discussed on day 2, 21st September

Session 1: SAWES Small Grants Achievement

Session 2: Role of National Women Associations, Federations, Chambers in Empowering /Promoting Women Entrepreneurship: Best Practices from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan

Session 3: Group Work: Develop strategies to strengthen women’s entrepreneurship and regional trade in South Asia


The Conference concluded with three declarations:

Formation of SAARC Convention on Women Entrepreneurship
Establishment of Online marketing and trading like
Replication of a regional project such as ALEAP’s GREEN INDUSTRIAL PARK (A-GRIP).
Pramila Acharya Rijal, President of SAWDF focused on the recommendations that were made by the SAARC group.

Carol H Yost, Senior Director, Women’s Empowerment Program, spoke about the SAWES program as the State Department’s initiative and commitment to take women entrepreneurship is South Asia forward.

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