First round of funding
In April 2018, the Governing Committee made its first funding allocation to the Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the World Bank Group for the initial set of programs and projects approved; the amount allocated, $120 million, will mobilize additional resources of $1.6 billion, surpassing We-Fi’s five-year leverage target. At least 58% of funds allocated under the first round will go toward women-owned SMEs (WSMEs) in low-income (IDA) countries and fragile and conflicted-affected situations.
The approved programs and projects span across all regions. Some 43% of the funding allocated to country and regional projects is expected to go toward Sub-Saharan Africa; the countries covered include Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. Around 26% is expected to go toward South Asia, covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Some 20% of funds are expected to be used in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with the remaining amount anticipated to support engagements in East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The initial programs and projects are expected to help close to 46,000 women entrepreneurs in developing countries take their businesses to the next level.
Key elements of these programs and projects include:
- Provision of comprehensive, ecosystem solutions to improve women’s entrepreneurship;
- Activities in several fragile and conflict-affected situations, including in Cote d’Ivoire, Kosovo, Mali, Mozambique, and Yemen;
- Leveraging global knowledge, data and evidence; and
- Leveraging partnerships
- Current We-Fi programs and projects