08 MAR 2023

IFC, Goldman Sachs Facility Enabled Over $4.5 Billion for Women Entrepreneurs, Eclipsing Goal

  • First-of-its-kind facility – launched in 2014 – expands and deepens financing for women-owned small and medium enterprises in 55 countries 

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2023 - The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), a partnership between Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC, has reached more than 164,000 women entrepreneurs, eclipsing the 100,000 target set when the initiative was launched, and providing over $4.5 billion in loans via financial institutions to women owned businesses.

Working through 95 financial institutions, the first-of-its-kind finance facility has made more than 172,000 loans in 55 countries, providing much-needed access to finance for women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs), helping to create jobs in developing countries and promoting an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Women-owned businesses are a powerful source of job creation and economic growth but continue to face significant challenges in accessing finance,” said IFC Managing Director Makhtar Diop. “Through WEOF, Goldman Sachs and IFC are helping financial institutions support entrepreneurs in some of the world’s most challenging markets. By working together to remove the barriers keeping women from accessing the financing they need to thrive, we can build a more equitable and prosperous future.”

“Through this innovative facility, we’ve helped tens of thousands of women business owners access capital so that they can grow their businesses, reach their potential and drive economic growth,” said Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David Solomon.

WEOF-participating financial institutions continue to report healthy growth and strong asset quality in their women-owned SME portfolios. From 2015 through 2021, the average ratio of non-performing loans for women-owned SMEs was just 2.6 percent, far below that NPL ratio for total SME loans, which was 3.3 percent over the same period.

WEOF was launched in 2014 with initial funding from the Goldman Sachs Foundation. The initiative was designed to expand and deepen financing for women-owned SMEs in developing countries, empower women entrepreneurs through access to finance and expertise, and demonstrate the commercial viability of investing in women by attracting external investors. Of the $2.81 billion investments through WEOF, $1.9 billion was invested from IFC’s own balance sheet and $904 million was mobilized from external investors.

WEOF builds on the IFC Banking on Women and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiatives. 10,000 Women was launched 15 years ago to foster economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs with business education and access to networks. To date, the initiative has reached over 200,000 women from over 150 countries. IFC’s Banking on Women program was established in 2010 to provide financing and expertise to emerging market financial institutions to expand financial services and opportunities for women customers and business owners.

About IFC
IFC — a member of the World Bank Group — is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2022, IFC committed a record $32.8 billion to private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity as economies grapple with the impacts of global compounding crises. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women is an ongoing initiative to foster economic growth by providing women entrepreneurs around the world with a business and management education and access to capital. The initiative has reached over 200,000 women from over 150 countries. In partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women launched the first-of-its-kind global finance facility in 2014 to enable access to capital to more women entrepreneurs. The 10,000 Women in-person business education program was launched in 2008, reaching over 10,000 women across 15 countries around the world, and in 2018, the 10,000 Women curriculum was made available online through Coursera, further democratizing access to a business education in more corners of the world. For more information on Goldman Sachs’ investment in female entrepreneurs, visit: https://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000women/  


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Abbey Collins
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