IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program recently launched a $600 million global facility that will increase access to finance to as many as 100,000 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF) is the first of its kind to be dedicated exclusively to financing women-owned small and medium businesses in developing countries.
IFC will invest an initial $100 million and the Goldman Sachs Foundation will provide $32 million. IFC will manage the facility, which is expected to mobilize up to an additional $468 million from public and private investors. How is that for Bridging the Gap?
The facility is part of the World Bank’s overall strategy to promote gender equality and ensure the social and economic welfare of one-half of the world’s population. IFC, through its Banking on Women Program, is playing a catalyzing role to help women-owned businesses access capital and capacity building. Since its inception in 2010, the program has invested more than $800 million in more than 20 countries.
IFC will be represented at Bridge the Gap by Patience Marime Ball and Yakhara Sembene. Patience is Principal Investment Officer, who developed and closed the Fund. Patience initiated and is building IFC’s Banking on Women Program through which IFC structures and makes financial investments to women entrepreneurs via local financial institution intermediaries. Yakhara Sembene, an Investment Officer in the Financial Institutions Group, is responsible for Investor Relations for WEOF.