Strengthening the women’s entrepreneurship ecosystem within the energy sector

Anita Shankar, Amanda B. Elam, Allie Glinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As women are increasingly engaged in clean energy value chains globally, it is crucial to understand what business models, practices, and enabling conditions can support the dual goals of scaling energy access and empowering women. To understand gaps in the women’s energy entrepreneurship ecosystem, we draw from recent theories of gender and entrepreneurship and both peer-reviewed and grey literature sources on entrepreneurship and development. Key challenges in women’s energy entrepreneurship and potential programme supports to the women’s energy entrepreneurship ecosystem are identified from a resource-based perspective, focused on five primary sources of capital – economic, social, time, cultural, and symbolic. Examples of programme supports include: (a) access to finance and capital; (b) access to coaches, mentors, and business networks; (c) business education and skill development; (d) training to foster personal agency, personal initiative, and entrepreneurial mindsets; and (e) inclusion of men within women’s energy entrepreneurship programming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-52
Number of pages26
JournalIDS Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Business development
  • Clean energy
  • Economic empowerment
  • Emerging markets
  • Gender
  • Micro-enterprise
  • Women’s empowerment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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