Shifting community attitudes so women can thrive as entrepreneurs

In many places, a woman working outside the home threatens a man’s status. We work with men and communities to challenge deep-rooted ideas about what a ‘woman’s role’ can be – boosting women entrepreneurs’ earnings and their ability to make their own decisions in the process.

What’s the problem? 

– In the places where we work, 60% of women don’t have the power to make decisions for themselves – such as being able to visit family and friends, or have a say about household purchases or their family’s healthcare.

–  Women are expected to be solely responsible for domestic chores and childcare – leaving them with little time to spend running a business. 

– In many communities, it’s believed a woman working outside the home undermines the man’s position as the family’s breadwinner – resulting in tension and, in some cases, violence, within the home.


Our solution

By working with men and the wider community through Male Engagement Programming (MEP) to challenge the social attitudes that hold women entrepreneurs back, we can improve women’s ability to make decisions at home and at work, boosting incomes and reducing poverty for everyone. 

As well as providing women with our standard business skills training, Hand in Hand offers gender-specific workshops for their partners and the wider community, covering everything from division of household labour to making joint financial decisions.



Our impact


More earned a month by women whose partners had gender-specific training 



Increase in savings for women whose partners had the training.



A day spent on domestic tasks by men who had gender-specific training.



Of men reporting positive attitudes to gender equality

Figures taken from our recent project with 600 women in rural Arusha, Tanzania, trialling the impact of male engagement on women’s economic empowerment. Read more here

Success stories

Merry | “A woman has the same right to do any job a man can do.”

Merry has grown her business and her confidence is soaring. 

Martha and Jerimiah | “All men should get the Hand in Hand training…”

Now they are working together, Martha can see that their fortunes will improve.

Venderana and Wilfred | Working as a team

Veneranda’s business has tripled the family income.

Partner with us

Supporting women to earn and control their own incomes is one of the most effective ways to help families escape the cycle of poverty. Tackling the attitudes that hold women back is a crucial part of this work. 

We partner with local and national NGOs, foundations, governments, companies and private donors to work with women entrepreneurs and their wider communities, because when women earn and control their own incomes, everyone benefits. Find out more about partnering with us here.