Access to Finance for Global Women Entrepreneurs


Although this Summit took place October 20 to 22, 2008 in London, we are reporting it after the fact because you will want to track what IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, does in the future for women entrepreneurs globally.

The event presented an opportunity for member banks — part of the Global Banking Alliance for Women — operating in developed and emerging markets to share experiences and lessons learned in accessing the women’s market profitably.  Discussions revolved around four key topics:

1.  Integrating women entrepreneurs in the bank’s strategy.

2.  Educating women clients to help them achieve their business goals.

3.  Identifying opportunities for the women’s market.

4.  Deciding the future direction of the alliance.

Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, said, “IFC research demonstrates that access to finance is one of the main obstacles to the growth of women-owned small and medium enterprises.

Since 2005, the overall membership of the Global Banking Alliance for Women has grown from four to 18, five of which are from emerging markets, including Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. This increased interest reflects the growing recognition of the alliance at global and political levels.

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