Document Type

Case Study

Publication Date



While the "feminization of poverty" has been widely recognized as a global phenomenon in recent years, the term originated in the United States where the number of women and women-headed households living in poverty is growing. This is especially true in the inner cities where fewer unskilled jobs remain; likewise, in rural communities, many factories have closed, family farming is declining, and few other nonfarm options are available. Today these American women face many of the same obstacles that limit women's economic participation in all parts of the world. This issue of SEEDS focuses on the evolution of WomenVenture's business development program—a model that has provided a way of helping women start businesses and become self-sufficient without incurring overwhelming risks. WomenVenture serves as an example of interest to other organizations seeking to help women become self-employed.





Issue no. 15 of SEEDS, a pamphlet series developed to provide information about innovative and practical program ideas to address the economic roles and needs of low-income women.