International Women’s Rights Day 2022


Worldwide, about a third of established businesses are women-owned and managed.1 Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of women entrepreneurs.2 Latin America and the Caribbean region show a high rate of women entrepreneurs involved in high-growth activity and manufacturing and transportation sector, half of them being under the age of 35.3 Women are a significant entrepreneurial force as owners of farms, input supply stores, service delivery businesses, and processing and export firms whose contributions to local, national, and global economies have a significant impact on poverty reduction, employment creation and wellbeing of rural communities and society at large.
Women are the main drivers of the global food production4 but still face too many challenges in finding jobs in the formal economy or starting and developing businesses, due to insufficient conducive policies and norms, low rates of land ownership, as well as access and control over resources and limited access to credit.
Gender equality and sustainability are intertwined, thus reducing the gender gap remains a key priority for effective change. Empowering women can have more direct positive impacts on the nutrition of their families. Women’s empowerment is a pathway by which nutrition-sensitive programs could improve children’s nutritional status. Empowering women benefits them, their families, and the overall economy.5
Moreover, supporting women’s entrepreneurship across the value chain is one of the most powerful routes to promote agriculture, agribusiness and boost sustainable rural development. To respond to highly competitive markets in local, regional, and export markets and capture gains in value-addition activities, women entrepreneurs need more training and skills in business management, marketing, and digital skills along the value chain with an emphasis on growth sectors, green technologies, and safe and sustainable farming and agro-processing practices.

COLEACP with the Pan-African Farmers’ Organization (PAFO) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)* support women entrepreneurship through farmers’ organizations, cooperatives, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) respectively in Africa and in the Caribbean region to seize opportunities in new markets and to establish key partnerships to strengthen their competitiveness.

Celebrate with COLEACP, PAFO, and IICA amazing women entrepreneurs and their success stories!
Below is a snapshot of some amazing women entrepreneurs featured in our Innovations and Caribbean Agri-food Business sessions*.


Do you want to join our coming sessions and work with us? Contact us at:


  • The PAFO-COLEACP Innovations Sessions and the IICA-COLEACP Caribbean Agrifood Business Sessions respectively focus on innovations and successes of African and Caribbean farmer-led businesses and SMEs. These activities are supported by the Fit For Market SPS and Fit For Market Plus programs, implemented by COLEACP within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union

1 GEM. Women’s Entrepreneurship 2020/21: Thriving Through Crisis. 2021, page 15.
2 Ibid., page 19.
3 Ibid., page 18 and 68.
4 UNDP, Gender And Climate Change – Gender, climate change, and food security, 2016.
5 GAIN. Empowering women throughout the food supply chain, 2020.