In the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, as part of their efforts to rebuild the national economy, many donor agencies and non-government organisations increased their efforts to support the goal of women’s economic empowerment. However, the share of women-owned businesses in Lebanon has remained low, and women are mostly still limited to work in marginalised sectors of the economy where production levels are low. Thus, women’s entrepreneurship development (WED) initiatives often fall short of fulfilling their promises of providing decent work, and supporting the goal of gender equality. This article aims to identify the constraints facing women entrepreneurs in Lebanon, in starting up and expanding their businesses. It explores different approaches adopted by WED support organisations, analyses the structural gaps that characterise WED initiatives, and makes recommendations which aim to make it more possible for women to achieve sustainable enterprise development in Lebanon.
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