The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) is a groundbreaking partnership that aims to unlock financing for women-led/owned businesses (WSMEs) in developing countries. We-Fi’s partners include 14 donor governments, six multilateral development banks as implementing partners, and numerous other stakeholders in the public and private sector around the world.
We-Fi has made rapid progress between its launch at the 2017 G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hamburg, Germany with $380 million in contributions from donor countries, the initiative has already allocated $300 million to programs that will benefit close to 130,000 WSMEs and mobilize $3 billion from the public and private sectors. This far exceeds We-Fi’s initial goal of mobilizing a billion dollars for women entrepreneurs. Projects are implemented in dozens of countries with over half of the funds going to low income (IDA-Eligible) countries, including many facing fragile, conflict and violence situations. We-Fi takes an ecosystem approach to removing barriers to women’s economic empowerment, addressing constraints and opportunities related to finance, market access, capacity and the enabling environment.
WE-FI CORE DEVELOPMENT PILLARS
Access to Finance
Providing financial institutions with finance and capacity to expand women entrepreneurs’ access to debt, equity, venture capital, and insurance.
Access to Training, Mentoring, and Networks
Building the capacity of women entrepreneurs, and connecting them to mentors and networks, so that they can take their businesses to the next level.
Access to Markets
Creating better linkages to domestic and global supply chains for women entrepreneurs, in partnership with the private sector and financial institutions.
Improving the Enabling Environment
Working with public sector actors to improve the legal and regulatory constraints that women entrepreneurs face in running their businesses.