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Washington, DC | December 15, 2023 – The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), housed in the World Bank, received a significant boost at the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) as the United States announced a new $10 million contribution. This contribution, together with potential support from other donor countries, is set to enable a new funding round aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs addressing the pressing challenges of climate change.

We-Fi, a collaborative partnership among 14 governments, six multilateral development banks, and other public and private sector stakeholders, focuses on advancing women’s economic empowerment in developing countries. The new contribution from the United States demonstrates a strong commitment to fostering gender-inclusive solutions for climate resilience and sustainability.

Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat emphasized the need to invest in women entrepreneurs in the climate sector. “The new funding from the U.S. allows We-Fi to tackle critical challenges in the climate-gender nexus by investing in women entrepreneurs as innovators and solution providers,” said Ms. Teleki. “It also exemplifies a gender-inclusive approach in mitigating the impacts of climate change.”

As part of the consultation process for the new funding call, We-Fi co-organized a workshop at COP28 in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and 2X Global. The workshop delved into effective strategies for supporting women entrepreneurs in the climate sector, emphasizing the need to put more funding and resources in the hands of women. Discussions centered around identifying effective tools and resources to enhance the resilience of women-led businesses in the face of climate change.

We-Fi was also highlighted at a World Bank COP28 event “Women as Catalysts for Climate Action for a Livable Planet”, where Tatiana Malvasio, co-founder of a startup that leverages AI technology to optimize irrigation for farmers in Latin America, shared her experience as a female entrepreneur. The event, led by World Bank Vice President for Human Development Mamta Murthi, explored how public, private and civil society actors are working to catalyze green solutions that support climate and gender equality goals simultaneously.

An example of such collaborative approaches is She Wins Climate, a We-Fi-supported initiative led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Launched at COP28, She Wins Climate aims to expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the green economy, by improving the capacity of accelerators and private equity and venture capital funds to better reach women-led startups and enterprises working on climate solutions. Currently, only 7 percent of private equity and venture capital is invested in women-led businesses in emerging markets.

As We-Fi continues to champion gender equality and women’s economic empowerment on a global scale, the new funding from the United States, together with the innovation, knowledge and resources from We-Fi’s Implementing Partners, are poised to unleash transformative opportunities for women entrepreneurs striving to make a difference in the fight against climate change.