In 2008, based on a growing body of research to support the economic opportunity of investing in women, Goldman Sachs launched 10,000 Women to provide women entrepreneurs around the world with business management education, mentoring and networking, and access to capital. To date, the initiative has reached over 10,000 women from across 56 countries and resulted in immediate and sustained business growth for graduates of the program.
In 2014, Goldman Sachs worked alongside the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help address one of the biggest obstacles faced by women entrepreneurs around the world – lack of access to capital to help grow their businesses. IFC estimates that as many as 70 percent of women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries are unserved or underserved by financial institutions – resulting in a credit gap of around $285 billion.
Goldman Sachs and IFC created the first-ever $600 million financing facility for women entrepreneurs to enable 100,000 women around the world access capital. Two years later, this public-private partnership, spurred by private sector innovation, has catalyzed new investments from both the public and private sectors and reached more than 25,000 women in 14 countries.