HAMBURG: The World Bank will start a fund to finance women entrepreneurs, an idea it developed in tandem with Ivanka Trump, the daughter of the US president Donald Trump.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative fund has raised $325 million from various governments. He hopes to leverage that into a multi-billion dollar fund.
Kim was speaking at a panel on women’s entrepreneurship that coincides with the meeting of Group of 20 leaders in Hamburg, Germany.
“Empowering women economically is a moral issue, but it’s also a critical economic issue,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in prepared remarks.
“No country, organisation, or economy can reach its full potential and meet the challenges of the 21st century without the full and equal participation of women and men.”
He said “this is not acute little project,” and says it will drive economic growth.
The money will be used toward improving access to capital and markets, providing technical assistance, training and mentoring, pushing public policy and investing in projects and programs that support women and women-led businesses.
The World Bank will be the trustee of the fund, which will be overseen by a governing committee representing the donors. The governing panel will have its first meeting in October.
Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) will enable more than $1 billion in financing to improve access to capital, provide technical assistance, and invest in projects and programs that support women and women-led Small and Medium Entres in World Bank Group client countries.
Donald Trump praised the fund and his administration is making a $50 million commitment to the effort.
He said the group will help eliminate barriers for women to launch businesses and transform “millions and millions of lives” and that “empowering women is a core value that binds us together.”