IFC, Goldman Sachs Foundation Launch First-Ever Gender-Focused Trade Finance Program

Geneva, July 3, 2019 — The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and the Goldman Sachs Foundation today launched a first-of-its-kind gender-focused trade finance program during the World Trade Organization’s Aid for Trade Global Review in Geneva, Switzerland.

Called the Banking on Women-Global Trade Finance Program (BOW-GTFP), the initiative will incentivize IFC’s Global Trade Finance Program participating banks to increase trade finance for women importers and exporters and encourage those financial institutions to track their business with female entrepreneurs.

“Just one in five exporting companies is owned by a woman, and research suggests that they have less access to finance than their male counterparts,” said Philippe Le Houérou, Chief Executive Officer of the International Finance Corporation. “The BOW-GTFP will help us to understand the finance gaps faced by women entrepreneurs and to better tailor our financial programs and tools to fill those gaps.”

IFC’s partnership with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women began with the 2014 launch of the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), which expands access to capital for women entrepreneurs. To date, WEOF has supported the deployment of over $1.4 billion to financial institutions reaching over 53,000 women across 32 countries.

Asahi Pompey, President of the Goldman Sachs Foundation, said, “We are committed not only to expanding access to finance and business education for women entrepreneurs globally, but to much needed access to capital. Our partnership with IFC directs capital to women through local financial institutions, allowing enterprises to grow and communities to thrive. Adding a gender lens on trade financing to WEOF is an important next step, as we seek to both incentivize and catalyze financial institutions to provide trade finance to female importers and exporters.”

To mark the start of the BOW-GTFP, IFC and the Goldman Sachs Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Aid for Trade Global Review signaling their shared intention to support female entrepreneurs in emerging markets.