Economic empowerment is widely described as the opportunities given to men and women of working age, and of all physical abilities or disabilities, to participate in the economy where they are able to contribute to industry and commerce in order to gain financial independence. In the process, they gain economic self-reliance, respect and dignity through their contributions to their workplaces.

It was initially introduced by social groups that advocate women’s right to access economic resources and opportunities to help alleviate them from poverty – especially in societies and communities that have a cultural tradition of denying women of economic self-reliance.

Today, although still mainly centered on helping marginalized women gain economic self-reliance, Economic Empowerment has also come to include helping people with various types of disabilities gain access to resources, and opportunities, that would allow them to become self-reliant and financially independent.