Washington, March 5, 2014—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
program 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 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.
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. Since its
inception in 2010, the program has made 17 investments totaling more than
$800 million in 17 countries.
“This new initiative will create opportunities for tens of thousands of
female entrepreneurs to thrive and prosper,” World Bank Group President
Jim Yong Kim said. “At the World Bank Group, we are committed to providing
opportunities to aid women as leaders, business owners, employees, and
stakeholders. We cannot afford to exclude half of the world’s population
from their rightful role in helping to change the face of the global economy.”
Lloyd C. Blankfein, chairman and CEO of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ,
said: “Through the experiences of the 10,000 Women graduates, we
have seen first-hand that investing in women is a key source that leads
to economic growth, but there is clearly more that can be done. By partnering
with IFC, we will address one of the biggest obstacles to growth for women-owned
small and medium businesses: access to capital.”
An estimated $300 billion credit gap exists for women-owned enterprises,
according to IFC research. Unfavorable business and regulatory conditions
are also among the many barriers that impede women entrepreneurs. The new
facility will extend lines of credits and share risk with local banks in
developing countries to help ensure and promote access to finance for women
Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Advisory Services VP and World Bank Group Global
Practices VP, said: "IFC is delighted to partner with the Goldman
Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, which has an impressive global presence.
We need innovative models from the private sector to create opportunities
for women entrepreneurs to thrive and prosper."
IFC and the 10,000 Women program will also provide training and
advice to women entrepreneurs. The foundation will provide $18 million
in grants—$11 million of which will go to IFC to provide advisory services—
to expand financial-planning support for women entrepreneurs.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit
About The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities
and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial
services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations,
financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded
in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in
all major financial centers around the world.