Scale2Save Side Event: Unlocking the Potential of Female Entrepreneurs

400 million women entrepreneurs around the world who have vast potential to grow, add value to the economy and create jobs. Yet they face significant obstacles, including an uneven playing field in accessing financing. Closing financing gaps for women entrepreneurs would create $5-6 trillion in potential value addition globally. For financial service providers (FSPs) this represents a $1.7 trillion growth opportunity. This is an opportunity for banks, funds, fintechs, regulators, investors and standard-setting bodies worldwide to step up their efforts and work together to unlock their economic potential.

Leveraging on WSBI’s strategic goal of building inclusive and sustainable financial sectors, the Scale2Save initiative continues to engage sector players to assess, design and implement initiatives that help build resilience and sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable. Understanding the impact that the financial sector has on serving female entrepreneurs, the actions that lead to more gender equity and agreeing on common metrics that serve these goals forms part of these efforts.

Format: An interactive panel discussion between WSBI members from different regions of the Global South and a representative from a Development Financial Institution, will be followed by contributions from the floor. The session will be preceded by a keynote speech from the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, which is housed at the World Bank. Translation into English, French and Spanish will be available during the event.

Expected outcomes: This session aims at demonstrating the power of the WSBI network in serving female led and/or owned SMEs. It will highlight what member institutions from two or three regions are doing to empower female entrepreneurs, to help overcome the digital divide, to deploy adaptive solutions to a growing climate risk and to assure that women’s specific financial and non-financial needs are met. The session will also address how DFI financing support can contribute to higher impact with female entrepreneurs. The keynote will be setting the scene on what it takes to get a better understanding of how the financial sector impacts female entrepreneurs and generate a common understanding of the World Bank supported WE-Finance Code. The WSBI General Assembly that will follow in the afternoon is expected to endorse the WE-Finance Code Initiative.

Participants (50-80 pax): WSBI members from all regions, open to external guests (participants to the World Bank / IMF annual meetings).

The event is organized in the framework of the WSBI African Regional Group Meeting and General Assembly that’ll take place 11-13 October, alongside the annual World Bank /IMF meetings.

Location: Marrakech, Morocco

Date: Friday, October 13, 2023