The World Bank has created Women's Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) to support entrepreneurship by women in developing countries. It is popularly known as 'Ivanka Fund' as it was created when Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump's eldest daughter herself suggested such a fund. She is also her father's senior adviser. The fund collected $350 million in a space of five months. Jim Kim, the president of the World Bank, revealed more about this scheme during a session that took place on the sidelines. This session, titled 'Taking Women Owned Business to the Next Level' was convened with Ivanka Trump in attendance. Three women entrepreneurs hailing from developing countries were also present.
Females repay quickly
The fund was created to solve the financial bottleneck faced by women entrepreneurs. Despite compelling evidence of the many benefits, both economic and social, female entrepreneurs continue to encounter significant bumps when it comes to financing. About 70 percent of women-owned medium and small sized businesses in the developing nations are unable to get finance. This leads to a yearly credit deficit of $300 billion. Entrepreneurial women also face a number of other challenges. These include policy and legal barriers. They also suffer restricted access to technology, information, and professional networks.
According to International Finance Corporation's Philippe Le Houerou, women entrepreneurs make an excellent investment as they pay back loans at a far quicker rate than males. He said that as a CEO of the IFC, it makes good business sense to invest in ventures owned by women. Ivanka Trump, in her speech to the audience, said that the idea for such a scheme came out her realization that other than microfinance, nothing was much being done to solve the liquidity problems faced by the women-owned businesses. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, advised her to approach the World Bank President about this matter. The latter discussed a lot of subjects, including the methods to eliminate the barrier to access capital and mentoring. The result was the creation of We-Fi.
More than finance
According to Kim, We-Fi is more than simply a financing facility. Although it would support programs and projects which provide financing to businesses governed by women, a substantial portion of its work will also push for reforms within the governments to remove regulatory and legal barriers. This fund gets its money from a total of 14 nations. The list of other donors to the We-Fi fund are United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany. The facility wants to use the donor money to leverage about one billion in extra funding from the commercial and institutional investors.