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2023 Annual Report: Mobilizing for Systemic Change | View Report

As the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) embarks on a second five-year term, I am pleased to present this Annual Report, which covers the second year of Germany’s chairmanship of the We-Fi Governing Committee. Women are pivotal in driving economic growth, especially during tumultuous times.

Dr Bärbel Kofler

Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

As policymakers grapple with post-pandemic recovery amid soaring prices and geopolitical uncertainties, women-led small and medium-sized enterprises have always been a stabilizing force throughout the developing world – delivering solutions and providing vital services on which societies depend. That is why the G20 has consistently advocated for empowering women entrepreneurs. Under Indonesia’s presidency, the G20 in 2022 called on governments to promote the collection and use of sex-disaggregated data, implement gender-responsive budgeting, and strengthen collaboration with national and international stakeholders. We-Fi exemplifies a global partnership as it delivers on all fronts of women’s economic empowerment.

We-Fi implementing partners delivered remarkable results in 2022. We-Fi has helped over 50,000 WSMEs in 60 countries to grow and thrive. More than 40,000 WSMEs have accessed financing totaling $1.2 billion with We-Fi support, tripling the amount from last year. Two-thirds of We-Fi funding is allocated to low-income and fragile countries where support is needed the most. These could not have been achieved without the dedication and hard work of colleagues across We-Fi’s implementing network – now comprised of over 251 public and private-sector organizations.

Behind each number is a story of a woman entrepreneur willing to break barriers, take risks, and build from the ground up. I encourage readers of the report to explore the many inspiring stories exhibited throughout the following pages. From Yemen to Sri Lanka, women entrepreneurs demonstrate the same caliber of resilience, ingenuity, and grit despite the myriad of seemingly insurmountable challenges. They are testaments to the potential of women and reminders of the need for We-Fi’s work.

With a second five-year term endorsed by the Governing Committee, We-Fi is well-positioned to spearhead the global effort to support women entrepreneurs. As Germany pursues a feminist development policy, we remain committed to the success of We-Fi. Equality is a fundamental human right that must be protected through our collective action. We-Fi is a unique platform that combines advocacy, financial support, and capacity building to create a network effect for women entrepreneurs. I hope this Annual Report may serve as a valuable reference for the development community working to support women-led SMEs and inspire more partners to join We-Fi’s second term.

Download We-Fi 2022 Annual Report