Press Release: W-GDP, DFC Target Additional $6 Billion of Investment in Women
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Chief Executive Officer Adam Boehler today joined Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump to announce DFC’s intent to catalyze an additional $6 billion of private sector investment in global women’s economic empowerment through the W-GDP 2X Women’s Initiative, advancing the Administration’s broader Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative. The announcement was one of several made in support of women’s economic empowerment at 2X Americas: Investing in the Future of Women, a virtual event hosted by DFC and Concordia.
“The W-GDP 2X Women’s Initiative has helped remove barriers for women’s economic empowerment around the world,” said DFC CEO Boehler. “DFC’s additional commitment to catalyze billions of private sector investment to benefit women will increase the initiative’s impact and help secure a stronger future for families and communities across the developing world.”
“The Trump Administration is committed to ensuring that women have an equal opportunity to participate in the economy at home and around the world,” said Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. “W-GDP’s 2X Initiative is taking bold action with a new goal of $6 billion in capital to support women-owned, women-led, and women-supporting projects across the world. Through W-GDP, we are addressing the systemic barriers that women face in the developing world.”
Other announcements made today include:
- Fighting Global Malnutrition: The Global Nutrition Alliance is a collaborative new initiative that aims to mobilize $100 million in private sector investment to reduce malnutrition in developing countries, with a particular focus on reaching women and children. Under the alliance, DFC and the Eleanor Crook Foundation (ECF) will mobilize their collective resources and tools to improve global food supply.
- Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Honduras: A $92.3 million DFC loan, with additional financing from a Citibank long-term loan, is helping Banco del País expand lending to SMEs—particularly those owned and led by women—in Honduras. DFC and Citibank’s support will enable Banco del País to nearly double maximum loan tenors for clients, allowing SMEs to expand and create jobs while promoting economic growth.
- Promoting Connectivity Investments Through DFC-Microsoft MOU: DFC signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Microsoft to work together globally on information and communications technology infrastructure projects that will help close the digital divide by providing access to the internet for unserved or underserved communities, such as women, learning institutions, healthcare clinics, and last-mile users. Projects under the MOU will also promote closing the gender digital divide.
- New DFC-Taiwan Collaboration to Advance Women’s Economic Empowerment: DFC welcomed Taiwan’s sponsorship of a new $350,000 collaboration to support women’s entrepreneurship and advance gender-smart investments in developing countries. Under the new collaboration, DFC and Taiwan counterparts will first work with private sector partners to design and conduct two training programs geared towards investment officers, women entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders to share experiences and best practices related to investing with a gender lens and developing strong gender strategies.
Women represent an immense global opportunity, but persistent challenges—including a roughly $300 billion shortfall in access to credit—prevent them from reaching their full potential. In Latin America alone, women could add an estimated $2.6 trillion to GDP by 2025 if the gender gap is bridged. Further, when women earn a competitive income, they spend the majority of their earnings on their families—a reinvestment that contributes to stronger and more resilient communities.
W-GDP’s 2X aims to unlock the enormous opportunity women represent while addressing the unique challenges they face by prioritizing projects that are owned by, led by, or provide a product or service that intentionally empowers the world’s women. The initiative was launched during Women’s History Month in March 2018 with a $1 billion goal—a milestone DFC surpassed in less than a year. To date, DFC has catalyzed more than $3 billion of investment in projects that meet the 2X Criteria.
Since launching W-GDP 2X, DFC has enhanced its focus on regions of the world where women face particular challenges to full economic empowerment, including through 2X Americas. In September, the agency joined Advisor Trump to announce that it had surpassed its original $500 million goal under 2X Americas and, in collaboration with Citi, would strive to deploy an additional $500 million in capital to projects that empower the region’s women for a total commitment of over $1 billion in Latin America alone.
DFC, through 2X Americas and the broader W-GDP 2X Women’s Initiative, plays a key role in advancing W-GDP, which represents the first whole-of-government approach to advancing women’s economic empowerment. Launched in February 2019, W-GDP reached 12 million women through the efforts of DFC and other U.S. Government agencies in its inaugural year alone. The initiative is spearheaded by Advisor Trump.
2X Americas: Investing in the Future of Women convened a diverse range of business, government, and thought leaders to drive new progress toward women’s economic empowerment in Latin America and around the world. The virtual event included a fireside chat with Advisor Trump and strategic dialogues highlighting the power of investing in women, barriers and solutions to women’s economic opportunity, and the heightened importance of supporting women in light of COVID-19.
Photo courtesy of IICD.