In Lesotho, a lot has been done to progress towards gender equality. However, gender inequalities persist, particularly when looking at access and use of financial services, promoting women entrepreneurs, and gender-based legal restrictions. The country ranked regionally high in the Women, Business and the Law 2023 index, scoring a 78.1 out of 100 points. One area of improvement is entrepreneurship (75), indicating constraints for women starting and running a business.
Interested in advancing the gender equality progress in Lesotho, the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) is seeking to improve gender sensitivity of the Corporation’s financing operations as well as strengthening its capacity to organize and engage in public-private dialogue (PPD) processes.
The ICR Facility provides expertise and technical assistance to LNDC to improve gender-lens investing and access to finance for women and to recommend a way forward for LNDC’s PPD processes in order to create better business conditions, especially for women.
This intervention comprises two areas of support:
Improving gender-lens investing: Conducting an institutional gender assessment of the LNDC, performing market research on women entrepreneurs, developing a gender strategy, recommending refinement of financial services, and conducting a gender training for the LNDC staff.
Strengthening PPD processes: Reviewing and analysing the PPD environment and experiences in Lesotho, including a gender-gap analysis and gap analysis of the LNDC’s secretariat function, as well as developing a PPD roadmap including recommendations for improvements.
Overall, this ICR Facility intervention is providing LNDC with the tools, expertise, and competences to enable more accessible and well-targeted financing for women, and engage stakeholders to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of business environment reforms through PPD.