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Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are key drivers of economic growth, often described as the “engine of growth” for emerging economies (IFC 2017). In 2018, it was estimated that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) represented over 88 per cent of all enterprises in Samoa 2018), indicating the vital role such businesses play in Samoa’s economy. There is widespread recognition that catalyzing women’s entrepreneurship is a key pathway for advancing women’s economic empowerment. With proven multiplier effects on decent employment, poverty eradication and economic growth (ESCAP 2017). Yet, compared with men, women entrepreneurs continue to face complex barriers limiting their ability to start-up and/or grow their business. Examining and drawing on existing literature and studies, this report will discuss the barriers and opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Samoa.

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