On 5 March IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women programme launched the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility. The aim is to raise $600 million, which will increase access to finance to as many as 100,000 women entrepreneurs in emerging markets. This is the first fund of this 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.
An estimated $300 billion credit gap exists for women-owned enterprises, according to IFC research. A new report by Goldman Sachs, Giving Credit Where It Is Due, demonstrates the impact increasing female access to capital can have on per capita income, particularly in developing and emerging markets.
To read the full press releases, click here>
New Oxfam fund for women
Also announced on 8 March, Oxfam has launched a new fund to promote women’s rights in the Arab Spring countries. The Innovation Fund offers small grants to emerging and new women’s organizations in Tunisia, Yemen, Palestine and Morocco. Grantees will be able to access awards of and in-kind support of up to $35,000. The fund is part of the AMAL (‘Hope’ in Arabic) programme.
Applications for the Oxfam Amal Innovation Fund will be open until 15 April. Apply using the form below, forms should be returned to Amal@oxfam.org.uk
To read more about this new fund, click here>