Support Women Entrepreneurs in East Africa to Build Skills


A comprehensive training needs assessment to inform the design and roll-out of the Online training programme was successfully carried out in 2021 by UNITAR under the “Advancing Gender Equality and Women Empowerment in Africa” project. The findings revealed that the training needs vary per region, sector and stage of maturity. It also highlighted the need to equip women entrepreneurs with fundamental concepts of entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and tools to help them overcome gender-specific challenges and barriers. In addition, according to the World Bank’s International Finance Cooperation (IFC 2016), women own roughly 48% of all enterprises in Africa. However, despite this huge percentage of women-owned enterprises, women still face obstacles in acquiring the knowledge, know-how and network to access credit, loans and funds compared to the enterprises run by male counterparts, where they can acquire loans, credit and support from banks.


Against this background, IGAD Secretariat in partnership with UNDP, UNITAR and with support from the Government of Canada, will launch the Online Entrepreneurship and Financial Literacy Training Programme for Women and Girls in the IGAD region. Its virtual kick-off is open to the public.


This pilot programme comprises of 5-week online training and a 1-week in-person workshop in the region. Twenty-five women entrepreneurs from IGAD Member states were nominated to participate. The pilot programme will also support IGAD to acquire an online learning platform and related capacity to host and deliver the training programme to their member countries in the near future.


The programme will focus on the fundamental concepts of social entrepreneurship and financial literacy to help participants develop their entrepreneurial and financial knowledge, skills and competencies to identify business opportunities and take action to design and develop solutions.


This pilot programme will be launched on 22nd November 2022 through a virtual event. Representatives from IGAD member states, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and United Nations agencies will welcome the participants, share their expertise and encourage learners to pursue their passion.


H.E Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, IGAD Executive Secretary who has been committed to advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women in the IGAD Secretariat, will deliver a keynote speech on advancing the economic human rights of women in the IGAD Region during the launching.


  • Date: Tuesday, 22nd November 2022
  • Time: 11 a.m. – noon (Eastern Africa Time) / 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. (UTC)
  • Location: Virtual. RSVP at
  • Language: English


For more information, please contact:


Yoko Morita, UNITAR Division for Prosperity

[email protected]


About IGAD


The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a Regional Economic Community with a membership of eight countries in Africa namely- Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The Secretariat of IGAD is located in Djibouti with a vision of achieving peace, prosperity and regional integration in the IGAD region. IGAD fosters collaboration among member states through four overarching pillars including Agriculture and Environment, Economic Cooperation, Health and Social Development; Peace and Security.


About UNDP 


UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and the planet.


About UNITAR, Division for Prosperity


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) provides innovative learning solutions to individuals, organizations and institutions to enhance global and country-level action for a better future. Located in Hiroshima, the Division for Prosperity trains present and future change-makers from developing countries, particularly youth and women, so they may shape a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world.


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