ICD’s Multi-Country BRAVE Women Program Supports Women-led Businesses in Conflict Areas

Article Cover of a Woman in Sweet Shop in Color

We’re pleased to share our member Islamic Corporation for the Development’s (ICD) valuable work from their Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprise (BRAVE) Women Program. The project was fully funded by the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (We-Fi). The total amount of approved funding by We-Fi for the BRAVE Women intervention was USD 32.2mn. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) was one of the designated implementing partners of the We-Fi fund and was implementing the project in Yemen, the Federal Republic Nigeria and Burkina Faso. ICD provided technical support for the implementation of the project. 

The project was launched in July 2018 and its implementation in Yemen formally began in February 2019. The aim of the program is to reach at least 1,500 women MSMEs with specialized business trainings and 1,200 of them to qualify for combined grant matching support and technical assistance. 

“We already got in the past different support programs from several local or international organizations but, with BRAVE Women project it’s completely different. This unique project starts first with a professional training to enhance our capabilities to prepare our business continuity plan and then we can get access to the matching grant support. In addition, local banks are supporting us as well to get loans. In the last 5 years, all the financial institutions in Yemen stopped giving loans to women entrepreneurs but now we are so excited to get back those services. This restores the trust relationship between women entrepreneurs and the banks which has been completely lost during the war.” - says Azah Shoukri, owner of Sabia for cloth and a beneficiary of the BRAVE Women Program in Yemen. 

Read more about the BRAVE Women Program here> 

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) is a multilateral development financial institution and is a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group. ICD was established in November 1999 to support the economic development of its member countries. ICD is Rated A2’ by Moody’s, ‘A’ by S&P and, A+ by Fitch. ICD establishes and strengthens cooperation and partnership relationships with an aim to establish joint or collective financing. ICD also applies financial technology (Fintech) to make financing more efficient and comprehensive.