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We-Fi Allocation: $55m

Mobilization Target: $175m


Reach 5,341 women entrepreneurs through financial and entrepreneurial support


Round I: 2018 to 2023

Round III: 2021 to 2026

Round IV: 2022 to 2027


Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Yemen.

Round I: Business Resilience Assistance for Value-Adding Enterprises for Women (BRAVE Women) 

This program aims to enhance the resilience of women entrepreneurs in fragile contexts and works to increase their business growth opportunities through capacity building and funding. Launched in Yemen, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso, BRAVE Women has potential for scale up and replication in other fragile countries. It is managed by the IsDB’s private sector arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD). BRAVE Women comprises the following key activities:

1. Building the capacity and business resilience of WSMEs in fragile and high risk contexts.

2. Providing matching grants for WSMEs that complete the training program and develop business continuity plans.

3. Promoting value chain resilience by supporting lead firms, women business associations and sector specific cooperatives, focused on reaching WSMEs in their value chains. 

Round III: Empowering West African Women-SMEs in the Rice Value Chains (EWASME)

This program aims to support women entrepreneurs in four countries in West Africa to better engage in the rice value chain, particularly at the post-production stage. Focusing on very small enterprises, EWASME combines capacity development and grant matching to help women entrepreneurs grow, move up the rice value chain, and connect with local markets and potentially regional markets. Key activities include the following:

1. Developing the capacity of women entrepreneurs by providing business, financial, and organizational management training, as well as coaching and mentoring on good agricultural practices.

2. Providing financial support to WSMEs through matching grants to help women entrepreneurs expand and upgrade their businesses, improve their sales, and create business opportunities along the rice value chain.

3. Expanding networking opportunities for WSMEs by providing mentoring, access to trade fairs, and match-making activities.

4. Advancing the enabling environment by addressing the regulatory and socio-cultural factors that impede the growth and expansion of women entrepreneurs across all levels of the rice value chain.

Round IV: BRAVE Women Yemen 2.0

The 4th round funding for the BRAVE program builds on the components of its predecessor, supporting WSMEs with capacity building, matching grants, and guarantees. This is extended by introducing an online e-commerce platform, “the BRAVE Mall Digital Platform,” which allows Yemeni buyers and sellers to exchange goods and services, and thereby expand WSMEs, access to markets.

Round IV: Women in Sanitation Enterprises (WISE)

The project supports women entrepreneurs operating in the water, sanitation, and hygiene sectors in Bangladesh in strengthening and growing their businesses. The key focus includes:

1. Increased access to finance and digital platforms to enable WSMEs in the sanitation sector to scale their enterprises and access new tools and technologies. The project also supports WSMEs in utilizing digital platforms, including online and mobile banking.

2. Improved business practices to strengthen WSMEs’ business skills and expand knowledge about business tools and financing opportunities. The component also provides leadership training – to enhance WSMEs’ negotiation skills, and networking opportunities – to increase women’s access to value chain stakeholders and strengthen their business linkages.

3. Strengthened enabling environment for women businesses, including advocacy and awareness-building about the cultural, institutional, and policy barriers faced by women entrepreneurs in the sanitation sector.





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