Road to Leadership

Across the world, women entrepreneurs are denied decision-making power and visibility in business environments. Our Road to Leadership programme supports them to claim a seat at the table.

There continues to be a vast gender gap in entrepreneurship. Closing this gap is a crucial part of advancing women’s economic empowerment and boosts the global economy.

Women entrepreneurs are powerful changemakers and their role is fundamental to the advancement of economic equality, which has positive outcomes for everyone.

Despite this huge potential, women lack visibility and positions of leadership as their roles are often limited by harmful gender stereotypes, societal and cultural norms which undermine their status, ability or influence.

If we are ever to achieve our goal of economic equality for women, it is crucial to elevate women’s leadership positions in business environments. We aim to do this by developing women entrepreneurs’ confidence and leadership skills, ensuring they are aware of their rights, and supporting them to identify and challenge systemic and structural barriers that undermine their rights.

72% of women entrepreneurs we surveyed said a more supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem would have encouraged them to start a business

12 countries have economic equality for women and men in the eyes of the law

99% of participants in Kenya felt more empowered to lead effectively

Our Road to Leadership training was developed in 2021 and is designed to equip women entrepreneurs with what they need to grow their confidence, voice and decision-making as leaders and changemakers, and to influence the environments that hold them back.

The training is delivered across two or three sessions, either online or face-to-face, with each themed on a different topic: leadership and communication and, dependent on the context, sometimes also a session on advocacy. These sessions give women entrepreneurs:

  • Awareness of the gendered structural barriers they face
  • Understanding of their own leadership and communications styles
  • Introduction to different leadership styles, including feminist leadership
  • Skills in delivering impactful, influential messaging to different stakeholders
  • Communication tools to effectively promote and pitch their businesses
  • A grasp of how they can assess and work with the communication styles of others
  • Advocacy strategies, tools and techniques in order to influence change in society
  • Increased confidence in leadership and communication
  • Inspiration to succeed as leaders in the form of role models
  • Boosted professional networks


Before this training, I thought advocacy is something big, something out there that I couldn’t do. I know that I can do advocacy in my own community.

A Road to Leadership training participant in Nigeria

Road to Leadership was piloted successfully in 2021 with women in Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria and Kenya, with 100% of participants in Indonesia rating the relevance of the topics as either ‘good’ or or ‘excellent’, 99% of participants in Kenya feeling more empowered to lead effectively, and 98% of participants in Vietnam gaining knowledge. The programme is currently delivered in Kenya and South Africa, and can be brought to new countries through funding partnerships.

Supported by our partners:

Delivered with our partners: