The 10,000 Women initiative was launched in 2008 by the Goldman Sachs Foundation, providing 10,000 women from across 56 countries with business and management education, mentoring and networking.
10,000 Women has supported women from countries as diverse as Liberia, Egypt, Brazil, India and China through a network of 100 academic and nonprofit partners. More than 30 of the world’s leading business schools have participated in the program. The initiative is founded on research conducted by Goldman Sachs – Womenomics and Women Hold up Half the Sky – the World Bank and others which suggests that such an investment can have a significant impact on GDP growth.
10,000 Women graduates report immediate and sustained business growth. Eighteen months after completing the program, nearly 70% of surveyed graduates have increased their revenue and nearly 60% have added new jobs. On average, graduates doubled the size of their workforces and revenues increased nearly fivefold. An independent assessment by the International Center for Research on Women found that graduates attributed changes in their businesses performance and increased confidence to the business and management education and support they received through the program. 10,000 Women has demonstrated that investing in women creates a virtuous cycle, as women use their income and skills to support their families and communities. Nine out of ten participants pay it forward by mentoring and teaching business skills to other women.
Women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have long been overlooked by local financial institutions and global investors. International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, identified a global credit gap of around $285 billion for women entrepreneurs. According to recently released Goldman Sachs research, Giving Credit Where It Is Due, closing this gap in the BRIC and Next 11 countries could increase per capita income by up to 12% by 2030.
10,000 Women and IFC are bringing together their resources and expertise to launch the first-ever global finance facility dedicated exclusively to women-owned SMEs, deepening 10,000 Women’s commitment to women entrepreneurs. The Goldman Sachs Foundation, IFC, and other investors will contribute up to $600 million to create The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, which will enable approximately 100,000 women entrepreneurs to access capital.
The Facility will be managed by IFC, the leading investment manager of global development finance vehicles, with a network of nearly 1,000 bank clients around the world. The Goldman Sachs Foundation will provide a $32 million anchor investment in order to catalyze capital from commercial investors and bilateral donors. The Facility will extend lines of credit and share risk with local banks in emerging markets enabling them to on-lend to women-owned SMEs.
In order to spur innovative approaches to lending to women entrepreneurs, The Goldman Sachs Foundation will provide an $18 million anchor donation to fund capacity building support for banks and women borrowers. Capacity building support will address the barriers to banks deploying capital and women entrepreneurs accessing it.
10,000 Women remains committed to expanding business and management education to reach new high-potential women entrepreneurs around the world. Along with the capital this partnership will catalyze, women entrepreneurs will in turn have a much greater chance of reaching their full potential.