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World Bank’s women initiative allocates first round funding

WASHINGTON, The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) announced on Thursday its first funding allocation of USD 120 million which is expected to mobilize over USD 1.6 billion in additional funds, twice the original target.

This will serve programs “designed to knock down the unique barriers facing women entrepreneurs in developing countries,” the World Bank said in a statement.

The statement noted, “The first round includes funding for proposals from the Islamic Development Bank to complement and expand successful initiatives in Yemen, Mali and Nigeria; the Asian Development Bank to improve the business environment for women in Sri Lanka, and the World Bank Group for global, regional and country specific activities to increase public and private sector support for women in business.” Some 70 percent of women who own small and medium sized enterprises in the developing world can’t get the financing they need.

“They are either shut out of financial institutions, or can only get high-interest, short-term loans, resulting in a $1.5 trillion credit deficit for women entrepreneurs in emerging markets,” the World Bank said.

Source: Kuwait News Agency