ScaleX is an IFC-led initiative launched in partnership with We-Fi to help close the gender financing gap.  Women entrepreneurs in emerging markets face a daunting gender finance gap when it comes to growing their start-ups with only 11% of enterprises that actually attain seed funding being female-led.

New research, developed by IFC and the World Bank Group Gender Innovation Lab in partnership with Village Capital, shows that despite women leading half the start-ups that participate in accelerators—entities designed to train and support the development of start-ups to become investment ready—they continue to face greatly unequal access to capital.

Infographic: Female-led startups as a percent of total. Sources: Venture Capital and the Gender Financing Gap: The Role of Accelerators, Moving Toward Gender Balance in Private Equity and Venture Capital

To close this gap the ScaleX program incentivizes accelerators supporting women entrepreneurs with bonus payments of $25,000 for every women-led business that it helps raise at least $1 million from investors.  These bonuses provide an avenue for venture capital funds to commit to investing in women entrepreneurs in emerging markets and will catalyze a total of $40m into women-led startups in its pilot phase.

The ScaleX Investor Coalition also brings together like-minded investors committed to addressing the gender funding gap so the accelerators can work with them to convert the interest into funded transactions.

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