Empowering all women and girls and achieving gender equality are not only moral imperatives, they are crucial to creating inclusive, open and prosperous societies. Yet the barriers to doing so by 2030, as targeted by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5, are daunting.

The search for enhanced ways of addressing and funding this issue has inspired this new British Council report.

Drawing on research in Brazil, India, Pakistan, the UK and the USA , the report finds that social enterprise is being used to support women’s empowerment in four powerful ways:

  • as a source of funding for women’s rights 
  • as a means to deliver training or employment opportunities for women 
  • as a way to create economic empowerment for women through micro-entrepreneurship
  • as a means of providing affordable products and services for women

The report shows that social enterprise both challenges and reflects gender inequalities in wider society, and it offers recommendations to close the gender gap within the sector and support the growth of social enterprise for women’s empowerment. 

'Activist to entrepreneur: the role of social enterprise in supporting women’s empowerment' also includes five companion reports that examine the role of social enterprise in women’s empowerment in each of the five surveyed countries (Brazil, India, Pakistan, the UK and USA). These will be published in the summer of 2017.

There is also an infographic presentation of key report findings.