PRESS RELEASE: Calvert Foundation and Bank of America Partner to Invest in Women
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Bank of America is investing $10 million in Calvert Foundation to make loans to organizations that support women in developing countries throughout Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. These organizations positively affect women in a number of ways, from connecting women-led small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with financing, to providing access to services and products.
Supporting women is critical for creating jobs, sparking local revitalization and building a more vibrant economy. It is estimated that less than ten percent of women operating SMEs have access to capital, and access to financing is continually identified by women entrepreneurs as a major constraint to growing their businesses. Additionally, SMEs with full or partial female ownership represent 31-38 percent of formal SMEs in emerging markets. These firms typically employ between 5-250 people, representing a significant share of employment generation and economic growth potential.