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Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance Community of Practice (CoP) - Concept Discussion Meeting

25 February 2020
Time:
8 : 00
to
9 : 30
EST ( GMT
-05:00
)
Convert
-05:00
Online
African woman holding a tablet with piles of coins
Background
The objective of the new Women Entrepreneurs Financing Community of Practice (CoP) is to effectively share knowledge and best practices, tools and innovative products to facilitate increased services to W-SMEs. To discuss and agree on how best to build a sustainable community of practice, we organized the first meeting on December 16th, 2020. Its purpose was to discuss and agree on priority areas of focus and how to best structure the CoP to serve memberson how best to build a sustainable community to effectively share lessons learned on how to increase financial services to W-SMEs. About 40 members and IFC staff from diverse regions and institutions attended the meeting. 
 
Notes from the Concept Discussion Meeting
The CEO welcomed participants and briefly shared experience from other Forum CoPs (Risk Management and Agri Finance). He also stressed this CoP has arisen in response to strong interest indicated in the latest annual members survey and will focus on the unique resources that our large and uniquely diverse membership can provide.
 
The Gender Coordinator shared the results of the members survey and delved further into the objectives of the CoP - a demand driven community working to translate shared knowledge into useful lessons which members can apply with their W-SME clients.
 
The Head of IFC’s BoW shared the business case for banking on women, IFC experience, market trends and case studies.
 
  • Foster a self-help community of like-minded institutions to better serve W-SMEs
  • Clear, focused, defined and achievable set of goals
  • Focus on filling gaps and avoid duplicating services that are already available
  • Insights to help build business case 
  • Upskilling teams internally since banking women is a different dynamic
  • Access to active women-based financing solution by markets and regions as well as best practices – what has and not worked 
  • Asset Based products for financing Women Entrepreneurs, experience in similar markets
  • Strengthening MFIs offering financing to women 
  • Alternate information/ data - using credit score to assess women may hurt more than help 
  • Financial Inclusion of key women segments to rural/semi-urban women and women usually unserved like domestic workers, etc. 
  • Data – Gender gap survey/macro level stats on unbanked women to use as proof points for business case and other operations
  • Leverage technological innovations, collaboration with Fintech’s
  • Showcase, share cross regional lessons and experience, successes and challenges
 
There were no contributions made during the meeting on the frequency of CoP engagement, nor on its governance.
 
In closing the CEO stressed the considerable potential of the assembled group.  He assured that the Forum team would do the heavy lifting to organize and promote future sessions, and urged that interested members come forward to suggest priorities, products and how to foster an effective community.
 
Next Steps
The Forum will seek member volunteers ready to contribute to future sharing and learning session.
The next community meeting will take place on February 25 from 8 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. EST. 
 
If interested in participating, please contact Minerva Kotei for more information.