Women's Enterprise Development
The Ms. Foundation established the Collaborative Fund for Women's Economic Development (CFWED) in 1991 to provide crucial support to organizations across the country that help low-income women start and expand microenterprise, community-based and cooperative businesses. The Fund provides grantee organizations with technical assistance, training and networking, in addition to funding.
The third round of the CFWED, beginning in April 2001, included nine organizations that were funded to provide intensive business consulting and follow-up services to disadvantaged women entrepreneurs, and eight women-run organizations that manage social-purpose businesses. (Social-purpose businesses have a "double-bottom line" whereby they attempt to create both social and financial returns through their business activities.) FIELD also was funded by the CFWED to conduct a learning assessment related to the work of those grantees.
FIELD's learning assessments focus on program performance and client outcomes monitoring. Grantees receive training and technical assistance so they can better track and report key activities, expenditures and output numbers. Grantees are also trained and provided tools and support to track and report key outcomes in their client populations over three years.
Based on the experiences of grantees in round three, FIELD produced four reports. Two reports focus on the performance of the nine microenterprise organizations and the outcomes of the women entrepreneurs they assisted. The other two reports examine the program performance and client outcomes data collected and reported by the eight women-run organizations that manage social-purpose businesses. The four publications are: