The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) was granted $32.2 million under We-Fi’s first round of funding for its “Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprises for Women (BRAVE Women) program”. BRAVE Women complements and expands existing successful initiatives in Yemen, Nigeria, and Mali. It aims to enhance the resilience of WSMEs in fragile contexts, recognizing their untapped economic potential, and is increasing business growth opportunities for women entrepreneurs by boosting investment and providing capacity-building support.

Project implementation has begun in Yemen and will roll out in Nigeria and Mali in 2019 and 2020 respectively. IsDB is working with the Yemen Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation for public sector alignment and endorsement and with three banks for grant administration: Al Kuraimi Islamic Micro-Finance Bank, Saba Islamic Bank of Yemen and Tadhamon International Islamic Bank. The project provides skills training and access to finance schemes, aimed at boosting entrepreneurship and job security.

Expected results in the three countries include business resilience training for 1,500 WSMEs, matching grants to 1,200 WSMEs for business development, collaboration with 60 business associations, and establishment of open-source IT platforms in each country to track interactions between WSMEs and the executing agency. Overall, the program expects to support an estimated 1,500 WSMEs and result in 2,400 new jobs.

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