Promoting Gender in Finance and Business at WIN


From 29 August to 02 September 2022, a five-day Gender in Finance and Business Training was conducted in Bujumbura, Burundi. The training is part of a Tailor Made Training (TMT), which aims at improving the knowledge and skills of WOMEN INVEST (WIN) in Burundi. A total of 20 female members of WIN attended the training sessions. WIN is the first initiative dedicated to female investors in Burundi. The initiative brought women from diverse backgrounds to put their savings together, and invest in their country’s economy and bridge the gender gap in finance by supporting women-led businesses.

The five-day training was part of the Financial Literacy Training for a Women Investment Club in Burundi project, which is part of NUFFIC's Orange Knowledge Program and specifically tailored to the needs of WIN, a women-led organization. The goal of this TMT is to improve WIN's knowledge and skills in finance and investment.  WIN's team has limited knowledge in financial literacy, which plays a critical role in financial inclusion, inclusive growth, and sustainable prosperity. The main objective of this training was to help participants understand the role of gender power in entrepreneurship and access to finance. It also aimed to improve participants' knowledge and skills on gender investing.

An interactive training with a lot of room for discussion and sharing experiences
The training was led by Dr. Mulu Berhanu, MSM's international gender expert. The training was highly interactive and participatory, and included lectures, individual reflections, small group discussions, and presentations followed by plenary discussion. Throughout the training, participants were encouraged to present their group's work.

For example, on the first day, activities aimed to create a clear understanding of gender concepts, gender relations and power, and equality. This first training day allowed participants to understand the role of gender relations and power dynamics in gender inequality, as well as how knowledge of gender and power relations is a prerequisite for understanding individuals' access to resources, ability to make decisions, and the impact of policies, projects, and programs on women and men.

The main goal of the entire training was to help participants understand the role of gendered power in entrepreneurship and access to finance and to learn about gendered investments and strategies that integrate gender as part of their investment practices.

Dr. Mulu created a safe environment where there was room for discussion and expression of thoughts, feelings, and experiences without judgment. Because of this open environment, there were many fruitful discussions and the group work flowed smoothly. Together with Dr. Mulu, the participants developed ideas for promoting women-owned businesses through their investments. They identified the key problems that need to be addressed in Burundi; problems that WIN can address through its investments, stakeholders that WIN can work with to address the problem, and the key target sector and areas such as education and health.

Ms. Hika, the person in charge of gender issues at The Netherlands Embassy in
Burundi, also participate on the last day of the training. In her closing speech, Ms. Hika
appreciated the group for taking such initiatives to empower themselves and other
women and narrow the gender gap in the business.

By acquiring this new knowledge and learning best-case examples that put theory into practice, the training has helped participants in WIN's current phase, where the group is trying to identify focus areas and goals for itself.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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