Feasibility study on women-owned businesses access to finance in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The female/male ratio for total entrepreneurial activity and opportunity is unfavorable for female entrepreneurs in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Women business owners face serious financial obstacles, including lack of initial capital, lack of resources for financing start-ups and business development, poor supply of entrepreneurial capital, and banks’ unfavorable attitude.

Empowered women’s entrepreneurship can have a crucial role in alleviating poverty and creating jobs in the country. UN Women in BiH supports the development and resilience of women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs and supports the improvement of the socio-economic position of rural women and their cooperatives. This report aims to contribute to an environment in which women benefit from resilient, inclusive, and sustainable growth in BiH through strengthened policy development and stakeholders’ capacity to promote entrepreneurship and support the resilience of women entrepreneurs. It provides evidence and recommendations on expanding the ability of women entrepreneurs to pursue economic opportunities, invest additional capital, and grow their businesses. Furthermore, the research sheds light on the key denominators and challenges when it comes to women’s access to financing schemes and specific gaps in donor support/market failures. It also recommends different approaches to improving access to finances for women entrepreneurs.