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.
For more information on the ScaleX program please email us at ScaleX@ifc.org