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Digitisation in Africa: Channelling Funding to SMEs

Proparco’s 10-year anniversary issue of the Private Sector & Development magazine focuses on SME finance in Africa.

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A study by Stanford University , Northwestern University, Dartmouth College and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology found investors are more likely to bet that a company will see its stock prices rise if it reported “higher-than-average” gender diversity among its staff. Article via The Washington Informer .
Market in Guatemala.Photo courtesy of @perrygrone
To help boost women’s access to financial services, VisionFund International , the microfinance arm of World Vision , launched the Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF) in 2016. The fund’s aim is to build women’s resilience by expanding financial access and delivering high quality credit, savings and insurance products developed with women, especially...
PALESE PHILI ready to take on the challenges of another day at the office. | Supplied
DURBAN - Women’s Day and Women’s month are not only a tribute to our contribution to the struggle against apartheid but an affirmation of our ceaseless pursuit of gender parity and equity. According to the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report, South Africa was ranked 19th overall. However, in terms of the active economic participation of women and...
Widening Access to Finance for Women Business Owners Could Unleash Huge Economic Potential.
When a woman wants to start or grow her own business, the odds of securing a business loan are heavily stacked against her. This affects women like Yeo from Ivory Coast, who was unable to take out a loan for her farming business because, as a woman, she did not own any land that the bank required as collateral. Data says 80 percent of women-owned...
World's First Private Sector Gender Bond Finances Women-Owned SMEs in Emerging Markets
IFC invested $75 million in a Gender Bond issued by Turkey’s Garanti Bank (a SME Finance Forum member). IFC details the story of how and why the investment with Garanti was a bold one. The bank, which is known in the market for its commitment to access to finance for women, is the first private sector bank in the world to launch a gender bond...
Study Talks Women and Venture Capital
IFC’s latest study shows that a more diverse panel of asset managers may be the key to bigger profits. Henriette Kolb, Head of IFC’s Gender Secretariat, said an ideal mix of at least 30 percent of women in an investment team can lead to substantially bigger yields for the company. BusinessWorld reports. “The median gender balanced fund...
Mind the Gap & Fix the Mix: Gender Equality in Private Equity
With more than $3 trillion in assets under management—nearly $800 billion of which is allocated to emerging markets—private equity can be a powerful source of financing, especially for innovative businesses that cannot access bank loans or capital markets. Investors and funds with stakes in these privately owned companies not only help them expand...
Empowering Women to Rise Up in Financial Services Across the Globe
Tracey Davies, President of Money20/20, and founder of the Rise Up initiative, outlines the five ways the program empowers women at work as the initiative comes to Singapore. I have always been a hopeful optimist about the trajectory of women, but as the number of women reaching the top just hasn’t made the progress I expected, I have become much...
Fintech for Women: Scaling the Financial Inclusion Pyramid in Egypt
In a bid to accelerate women’s financial inclusion in MENA, the region with the lowest female economic participation in the world , the DFID-funded Arab Women’s Enterprise Fund ( AWEF ) led a study to understand the scope for Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Egypt, map key constraints to women’s financial inclusion and identify opportunities to...
E-commerce: Helping Djiboutian Women Entrepreneurs Reach the World
Access to finance also remains a problem, where 53 percent of women-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) do not have access to credit and 70 percent of surveyed MENA female entrepreneurs agree that lending conditions in their economy are too restrictive and do not allow them to secure the financing needed for growth. This is where e-commerce...