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Description: Women entrepreneurs tend to have smaller and less diverse networks than men, mostly comprised of other women and “strong ties” such as family, friends, or colleagues. Networks (e.g., business, social, and peer networks) can play a pivotal role in enabling access to new financing, markets, and growth opportunities. Despite the critical role networks may play in the success of women entrepreneurs, research on this topic remains relatively limited and is still emerging. Understanding the dynamics of these networks and how they influence women’s entrepreneurship is crucial for developing targeted strategies and support mechanisms to empower women in business.

Objective: The goal of this webinar was to present new evidence on the role of networks (i.e., business networks, consortia) in improving outcomes for women entrepreneurs. The webinar will bring together researchers and practitioners to share research findings as well as insights from practice / implementation and discuss how to bring research findings to the design and implementation of projects.

10:00 AM: Opening Remarks
10:05 AM: Academic Paper Presentations
10:35 AM: Discussant
  • Diego Ubfal, Senior Economist at the World Bank’s Gender Group
10:45 AM: Q&A

Ashley Wong, Assistant Professor of Economics at Tilburg University

Ashley Wong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at Tilburg University. Her research focuses on labor and gender economics with particular interests in topics of diversity and innovation. She is an invited researcher at J-PAL’s Science for Progress Initiative (SfPI) and a CESifo Research Network Affiliate Member. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR).

Florian Anselm Münch, Postdoctoral Research Economist at London School of Economics

Florian is a Postdoctoral Research Economist in the Growth group at the Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics. He is part of the Prinz project, which focuses on decarbonizing the economy. In addition, Florian collaborates with the Economic Policy Research department at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) within the World Bank Group. His research is centered around industrial development and the formulation of green industrial policies.

Diego Ubfal, Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Gender Group

Diego Ubfal is Senior Economist in the World Bank’s Gender Group, where he leads the work on entrepreneurship and gender and coordinates the Federation of Gender Innovation Labs. He provides support to use evidence from what works on fostering women empowerment to inform the uptake of effective policies. His research projects have a focus on entrepreneurship (business training, soft-skills development, networks, digital tools and innovation), the transition from school to work, and financial access. Before joining the World Bank, he was Assistant Professor at Bocconi University, and research affiliate at JPAL. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires, a Master degree from the University of San Andres, and a PhD from UCLA.

Michelle Brock, Senior Research Economist at EBRD

Michelle is a Senior Research Economist at the EBRD, visiting researcher at Imperial College London, and affiliate of CEPR. Her research focuses on financing women-led SMEs, inequality of opportunity, migration, and entrepreneurship. Her work on gender and finance focuses on the role of implicit bias in lending decisions for women-led enterprises. Michelle investigates these topics through the lens of behavioral economics and individual decision making under risk and uncertainty. She holds a PhD from the University of Maryland.