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United Nations launches a call for research proposals on evidence-based financial solutions for women entrepreneurs

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a call for research proposals which will provide up to US$ 25,000 in funding to a maximum of 6 proposals, to undertake human centered design inspired research. The research should explore the nuanced challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing financing at different stages of their enterprise journey and offer solutions to those challenges. The objective of this applied research is to identify innovative financial solutions that can be developed or tailored to best address the needs and demands of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Nepal, Samoa and/or Viet Nam. 

ESCAP’s Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship initiative, with financial support from the Government of Canada, works to create an enabling entrepreneurial ecosystem for women. The research findings through this initiative will be used to inform the design of market-based solutions that enhance different groups of women entrepreneurs’ access and use of financial services. The research findings should also inspire replication of proposed solutions in other markets.  

Applicants are encouraged to create innovative partnerships or coalitions to undertake the research, this could consist of, for example research institutions partnered with telecommunication service providers, financial service providers or other relevant institutions.  Innovative data collection approaches are also encouraged, such as the use of big data analysis or lean data methodologies.

Please visit the Call for Research Proposals webpage for more information and application guidelines: link


Applications must be submitted by 31 August 2020 at 23:59 ICT to

About ESCAP’s Catalysing Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme
This initiative is implemented under a regional programme initiative titled ‘Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship: Creating a Gender-Responsive Entrepreneurial Ecosystem’ funded by the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada, and implemented by ESCAP. The programme aims to support the growth of women entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region through addressing the challenges faced at three levels: enabling policy environment, access to finance and use of ICT for entrepreneurship. For more information, visit: link

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