The World Bank's International Finance Corporation is to host a workshop for women business owners in Port Vila in Vanuatu from today.
More than 50 business women are expected to attend the three day workshop to focus on government reforms, information sharing and economic opportunities for women in the region.
Women make up 60 percent of business operators in the Pacific, but the IFC says legislation and cultural expectations often frustrate their efforts.
A gender analyst for the IFC, Sonali Hedditch, says strengthening businesses run by women would bring benefits to the entire economy.
"There is a pool of women out there who are ready to grow their business. And the IFC knows when a business does graduate from the informal sector to the formal sector it is likely to grow to eight times the size."
This is the first workshop of this type the IFC has hosted.