Economic Empowerment


We know that women face unique challenges accessing economic opportunities everywhere, and that women can be disproportionately affected by a state’s fragility.  At the same time, conflict can disrupt traditional norms, and open up new opportunities for women – from the market place to the parliament. We are embarking on new work to deepen our understanding about constraints of women’s economic opportunities in fragile situations, and evidence about what works to overcome these barriers, from business investments to policy reforms.  We aim to produce practical, policy relevant lessons for governments, development agencies, and the private sector. The Institute houses the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership (ICWBL), a global network that focuses on important topics like women’s leadership, innovation and technology, and access to capital and markets.

Kate Spade & Company: Empowering Women in Developing Economies

Kate Spade & Company recruited 150 talented female artisans in Masoro, Rwanda in 2013 and helped them to create a worker-owned, for-profit social enterprise that acts as a supplier for Kate Spade & Company’s brands. Georgetown University studied this innovative supply chain model to determine its impact on the Rwandan women and their communities. This is what we found.