Timor-Leste Program Overview
WAGE’s third strategic initiative, Business and Social Support for Female Entrepreneurs in Timor-Leste (BEST), is a multi-disciplinary program aimed at addressing the intertwined social, economic, and regulatory challenges faced by women microentrepreneurs in starting, maintaining, and expanding businesses. Launched in 2020, this two-year program works to build the capacity of local microfinance institutions (MFIs) and women’s empowerment-focused civil society organizations (WE CSOs) through technical assistance and small grants to facilitate the development, piloting, and evaluation of formal linkages that ultimately enable vulnerable women to succeed as entrepreneurs as well as provide women entrepreneurs with increased access to financial, entrepreneurial, and social support.
Business and Social support for Female Entrepreneurs in Timor-Leste (BEST)
WAGE believes that if the capacity of leading CSOs, specifically MFIs and WE CSOs, in Timor-Leste is improved to enable women clients’ access to not only microfinance, but also business training and GBV support services, then more vulnerable women will become successful entrepreneurs. The BEST initiative aims to provide women microentrepreneurs in Timor-Leste with access to a more holistic package of financial and social support, leading to enterprise growth and resilience.
WAGE seeks to establish meaningful partnerships with and among government, lawyers, CSOs, and the private sector to ensure a holistic approach to addressing the multifaceted problems facing women entrepreneurs in Timor-Leste. WAGE takes a locally relevant and sustainable approach to address key development challenges in Timor-Leste, by engaging established local entities that have impacted the local communities they work with through their activities. WAGE's partners in Timor-Leste include Alola Foundation, Associacão Empresarial Das Mulheres Timor Leste (AEMTL), Ba Futuru, and MFIs Kaebauk Investimentu no Finansas, S.A., and Moris Rasik Foundation.