Kenya & Rwanda

Second Chance Success

March 2020 - 2022

Blended Finance Approaches to Women’s Economic Empowerment


When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to global peace and stability. Yet, lack of access to finance is one of the major barriers facing women entrepreneurs around the world.

While the women’s access-to-finance gap is well documented, little research exists which examines viable approaches that improve access to capital for women entrepreneurs. Without proven approaches, investment funds will not apply a gender lens to their investments, which perpetuates this gap. The Second Chance Success project seeks to identify and test strategies that remove barriers to women entrepreneurs’ access to capital. By sharing the results, best practices, and lessons learned from the Second Chance Success pilot, the project can make the business case to finance women entrepreneurs and also why GLI approaches are effective. This, in turn, can build the confidence of investors. Ultimately, greater investor confidence will lead to increased capital flows to women-owned businesses and investments that use a gender lens. 

Project Updates

Growing in Ghana

MEDA’s GROW2 project is negotiating with Dunyiya to provide business development services and a matching grant award of $100,000 Canadian. Dunyiya would use that money to expand its business by setting up a shelling center close to GROW2 project clients to create jobs for women entrepreneurs.


Fanning the Embers

Ashley Bontrager Lehman has a passion for her family business. When she and several other industry veterans were creating and naming a new recreational vehicle for a new recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturer, they were going to call it Element RV, with her being the fire. They ended up establishing Ember RV. And yes, she’s providing the spark to make this company successful.


Sometimes, it is time to sell the business

Sometimes, the sale of a family-controlled business is better than trying to pass it on to a third generation of family management. Especially when the interests of 40 shareholders from multiple generations of several families have to be considered, Bob Mullet says.


Successful business succession can take many forms

Lance Woodbury, a Kansas native and son of a Presbyterian minister, has done mediation and succession consulting with family businesses across the US for almost three decades. He has authored two books on family businesses and writes a weekly e-mail newsletter entitled Faith & Family Business.


May/June 2023

A shelling solution: Ghanaian firm reduces drudgery for women ground nut farmers | Why does MEDA have an investment fund? | When selling a family business makes sense | Ember builds on Indiana family RV tradition | Are worker shortages linked to burnout?




This program was undertaken with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development.


Criterion Institute, Volta Capital and Business Partners International (BPI)