Published by
Feed the Future Market Systems and Partnerships Activity, USAID

Many impact-oriented initiatives are increasingly recognising opportunities to support the private sector to empower women in the workplace and generate direct financial benefits for firms. Women own up to one-third of all businesses operating in the formal economy worldwide, and millions more operate informal SMEs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

This WI-ROI framework builds on an existing body of evidence and research around the business case for investing in women’s inclusion.

Its ultimate objective is to support development practitioners to better align with SMEs and other private-sector actors in LMICs to accelerate women-inclusive growth and play a wider role in achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment whilst also benefitting firms.

It reflects the industry outlook on women’s inclusion at the firm level, focusing on:

  • Women-inclusive business strategies that reflect the current state of evidence in LMICs, concentrating on talent and leadership; workplace culture; supply chains; and women consumers
  • Firm-level financial benefits of women’s inclusion and empowerment for privately owned firms in LMICs - a frequent private sector partner of USAID’s women-inclusive PSE activities
  • Key building blocks for generating a potential women-inclusive ROI
  • Examples of good practices from SMEs in LMICs

Watch the BEAM Grab the Mic January 2023 webinar: Women-Inclusive Return on Investment (WI-ROI) framework - improving development outcomes for women & marginalised groups