Declaration and call to Bridge the Gap by 2025

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This declaration was signed on the 31st of October at Bridge the Gap by:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland)Triodos
Rabobank
IGNITE Fund
Impact Hubs in – Amsterdam, Antigua, Dubai, London, Oakland, San Francisco, Vienna-
United Succes
Hivos
Oxfam
ICCO
BopInc
Global Banking Alliance for women
Women Inc
BUSINESS4PEOPLE
Yente
WO=MEN, Dutch Gender Platform
Plan Nederland
VERA community
VIVEinvest

a) Preamble

We, supporters of the Bridge the Gap initiative and participants gathered at the Bridge the Gap event 2014, including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, development funds, philanthropists, development organisations, financial institutions, investor and entrepreneur networks, mission driven private investors and committed asset managers, signal that a funding gap exists for female entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets.

We recognise the opportunity of capitalising on this funding gap as female entrepreneurs are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs worldwide and women in developing and emerging markets will hugely increase their purchasing power over the next decade.

We believe that female entrepreneurs are key economic agents and that their leadership will positively contribute economically, financially, socially and culturally.

b) Declaration

We recognise the importance of women’s economic empowerment for sustainable and inclusive development as a goal in its own right.

We will strengthen our efforts to fund female owned businesses as part of our investment strategy.

We will share our insights and lessons learned with other co-signatories to build a body of knowledge.

We will support efforts enabling us to better understand and capitalise on the opportunity that female entrepreneurship developing and emerging markets offers.

c) Call to action

We aim to make a concerted effort to bridging the funding gap for female entrepreneurs by 2025, calling on others to join our efforts.

We specifically call on impact investors, financial institutions and governments to make a significant contribution to Bridging the Gap for female entrepreneurship in emerging and developing markets, considering them potential frontrunners of positive change towards equality and sustainable economic development.

We invite all parties to share their expertise, lessons learned and experiences with us so that we can grow our collective impact.

d) Follow up

We commit to providing and share information to the best of our capacities to further the understanding of how best to serve female entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets and to maximize our social impact.

We are willing to periodically review our efforts and revisit this declaration in two years time.

4 Comments

  1. Fully support the statement. It is important that while we try to assist women in building their enterprise, we have a good chance of getting them financed with the ‘appropriate’ financial proposition. It is important to Bridge the Gap, but also bridge it, at the appropriate way. The actual investment and funding offered, does not fit the bill.

  2. Full support of the statement. Noticed too often that mainly women go for green growth while other investors are going for greed growth. Let’s create sustainable examples to close the gap.

  3. WOCAN would like to fully support this statement, though we are unfortunately unable to attend. We hope to accelerate investments in women’s empowerment – be that related to income/assets, health, education, leadership, food security or time saved from drudgery – through the W+ Standard for women’s empowerment, that provides organizations with a way to measure and certify their impact.

  4. Women’s World Banking is the global non-profit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools and resources essential to their security and prosperity. For more than 35 years we have worked with financial institutions to show them the benefit of investing in women as clients, and as leaders. We equip these institutions to meet women’s needs through authoritative market research, leadership training, sustainable financial products and consumer education. Headquartered in New York, Women’s World Banking works with 34 institutions in 24 countries with a reach of 14 million women to create access to finance on a greater scale that ever before.

    Women’s World Banking fully supports this statement and is excited to participate in this important event.

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