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Denmark and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative Announce Strategic Partnership

Partnership to Help Women in Developing Countries with Training and Financing Opportunities.

U.S. Department of State, World Bank to Support Effort.

Washington, DC, December 14, 2011 - The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS) and the Government of Denmark today announced that they have formed a strategic public-private partnership to foster economic growth and job creation by matching qualified alumnae of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women program, as well as qualified alumnae of select U.S. Department of State programs, with affordable sources of capital through loan guarantees. The partnership will be piloted in Tanzania. Based on the pilot learnings, it is expected that the partnership will be expanded to new countries in 2012. A panel discussion and signing ceremony were held in coordination with the announcement of the partnership at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC today.

According to the World Bank, which supports the partnership, investing in women is one of the most effective ways to facilitate economic growth. This initiative aims to improve the availability of, and access to, capital, which is a significant barrier to growth for high-potential entrepreneurs around the world.

Through the partnership, in Tanzania the Danish government will facilitate access to finance via CRDB Bank by providing loan guarantees and work to develop sustainable banking products which are more accessible for qualified candidates and women in general. 10,000 Women will liaise directly with dedicated loan officers at CRDB Bank to ensure qualified candidates, including alumnae from 10,000 Women and U.S. Department of State programs, can access loan products offered by CRDB Banks. The US Department of State, along with the government of Denmark, will work to identify entrepreneurs to participate in the program.

The Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach said:”Denmark’s development assistance gives key priority to the empowerment of women. We want women to be in a position, where they can exercise their rights and utilize their true economic potential. I, therefore, very much welcome this innovative public-private partnership with Goldman Sachs and the State Department, where we match training of women entrepreneurs with access to finance in developing countries. In this way, the partnership becomes a win-win situation not only for the women involved, but also for society as a whole through increased growth and jobs creation. We intend to start off our partnership in Tanzania, but have the ambition to make it a truly global endeavour. And by combining our public and private resources, we will be able to harvest synergies and make better development impact in some of the poorest countries in the world”.

“The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative is a network of partners committed to driving economic growth,” said John F. W. Rogers, Executive Vice President at Goldman Sachs. “By joining together, the partnership between Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and Denmark aims to channel the resources of both the public and private sectors to magnify the economic impact we might have working alone.”

"Gender equality is smart economics. The evidence is indisputable: women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses make significant contributions to a country's economic development and overcoming poverty," said Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group. "Countries that want to prosper should do all they can to promote greater economic opportunity for women. Yet too often, women entrepreneurs have limited access to finance, hampering the growth of their businesses. Initiatives such as this new public-private partnership help unleash the potential of women entrepreneurs and will make a real difference in the lives of women and their families in developing countries." 

“Women entrepreneurs are a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come, yet they face tremendous challenges to their full economic participation,” said Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues for the U.S. Department of State. “This unique public-private partnership with the Government of Denmark and Goldman Sachs will facilitate women entrepreneurs’ access to capital, which is critical to their business success.”

This is the second partnership between Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and the Department of State. In March 2011, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a partnership to offer business and management training to women from countries with limited business education infrastructure.

The announcement today corresponds with the release of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Women’s report, which examines the reach of women’s entrepreneurship. Through interviews with more than 90,000 women, GEM discovered over 14,000 women entrepreneurs, studying their motivations for starting ventures, as well as their ambitions for growth, innovation and expansion into international markets. The GEM US team is sponsored by Babson College and Baruch College.

Denmark’s development cooperation aims at reducing poverty through a rights-based approach to development. Danish development policy focuses on the promotion of democracy, good governance and human rights, strengthening gender equality, promoting stability and capacity building in fragile states, creating sustainable growth and employment and protecting the environment and climate. These priorities are interconnected and essential for fighting poverty and reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Sustainable economic growth and job creation - in particular for young men and women entrepreneurs - are key elements in eradicating poverty and hunger and ensuring that developing countries can finance their development in the long run.

The Danish development cooperation has been active globally in facilitating market-based solutions for high potential entrepreneurs who require capital – filling a significant development need. The Danish government achieves this through collaboration with local banks in several countries to provide loan guarantees. While the local banks are responsible for identifying recipients, setting the loan terms based on market conditions and disbursing the funding, the guarantees provided by the Danish government enable the banks to reduce their risks and build up lessons learned on how to deal with entrepreneurs and micro, small and medium sized companies (MSMS).

Goldman Sachs launched 10,000 Women in March 2008 and has reached 5,000 women to date. It is a $100 million, five-year campaign to foster greater shared economic growth by providing 10,000 underserved women around the world with a business and management education. The program currently operates in 22 countries through a network of over 80 leading academic and nonprofit partners. Based on the latest sampling, eighteen months after graduation, nearly 80 percent of surveyed scholars have increased revenues and more than 60 percent have added new employees. In Tanzania, more than 100 women will graduate from 10,000 Women program implemented by the University of Dar es Salaam Business School. In Afghanistan, more than 300 women will graduate from the 10,000 Women program operated by the American University in Afghanistan and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial services to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high-net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, the firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in all major financial centers around the world.
 

Contacts:

Embassy of Denmark Contact: Pernille Florin Elbech
Tel: 202-320-0098

Goldman Sachs Contact: Joe Snodgrass
Tel: 212-902-5400