Women entrepreneurs are changing the face of the global economy, helping to sustain job creation and economic growth. It is estimated that women-owned entities represent over 30% of registered businesses worldwide. Yet on average about 10% of women entrepreneurs have access to the capital needed to grow their businesses.
Women have impact on sustainable economic growth, for instance although women comprise 50% of the population in Sub Saharan Africa they produce more than 80% of the food for the continent. Less than 12% of agribusiness investments are directed at women smallholder farmers.
According to the Harvard Business Review, women control about $20 trillion global consumer spending and earn about $18 trillion extending their circle of economic influence.
Yet, unfavorable business and regulatory environments are among the barriers that still impede women entrepreneurs from accessing finance. According to an IFC-McKinsey study this has resulted in a credit gap of approximately $320 billion.
The fact that many emerging markets financial institutions have yet to develop sustainable strategy to address this significant market gap represents a missed opportunity and constrains private sector development.
IFC’s Banking on Women program is playing a catalyzing role for partners and financial institutions to help them to profitably and sustainably serve women-owned businesses.