Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative

  Feb 28, 2022
This month’s newsletter is dedicated to the resilience of women entrepreneurs facing adversity around the world.  The terrible events unfolding in Ukraine remind us of the extreme challenges so many women in developing economies face as they try to build businesses, support their families, and provide solutions that their communities need.  Their struggle is our struggle and we are proud that the World Bank Group and other Implementing Partners stand ready to help Ukraine in this moment of need. 

Partnership to scale innovations for women's entrepreneurship

By Mari Pangestu, Managing Director, World Bank Group & We-Fi  Leadership Champion

The innovation, creativity, and boldness I see in women entrepreneurs around the world never cease to amaze me – from post-tsunami Indonesia, where women shop owners stood in the ruins to care for the community, to southern Africa where female startups founders are developing solutions to tackle climate change. Despite the adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic, women entrepreneurs continue to contribute to the economy, while creating social impact. Read more...

Photo credit: World Bank

Voices from the field:

Inspiration by Women Entrepreneurs

We feature original stories about the dedication, struggles, and grit of women entrepreneurs that We-Fi support in developing countries.

A smart solution to connect African entrepreneurs to investors
Venture capital investment in Africa continues to rise. But the share of women entrepreneurs' access to the capital flow is low. Lack of access to a diverse network base, investor bias and perceptions of risk, and insufficient information and support systems, are some drivers of gender gaps in developing economies. Oluwatosin Olaseinde, founder of and one of the finalists of the Seedstars World Competition, tells the inspiring story of how the pitch competition opened new channels of opportunities to investors and networks. Read her story...
COVID and war push Yemen’s businesswomen to smash taboos
Despite the challenges of being an entrepreneur in Yemen, Dhrah is among a growing number of Yemeni women defying conservative notions about gender roles to open new ventures. Her factory, which now employs 20 full-time staff, is one of the scores of women-owned businesses that have adapted to the coronavirus outbreak and in some cases prospered during a seven-year conflict. Read more...
Read More Stories


Entrepreneurship Database Project and We-Data

New data from the World Bank Group Entrepreneurship Database, developed with support from We-F, help understand the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on new business registration. Data were collected directly from business registries - the entry point for entrepreneurs joining or transitioning to the formal sector - in more than 170 economies. Learn more...

We-Fi Sponsors New Research on Women's Entrepreneurship

New research released by Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) with support from We-Fi has outlined key recommendations to support women entrepreneurs in emerging economies. Click here to learn more. Also, watch the recording of the launch of "COVID-19 Impacts on Women Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies: Insights and Indicators" that took place during the Dubai Expo. 

COVID-19 Pandemic & Women-Led Businesses 

We-Fi supported BPS gender data analysis has been published as a WB research paper, “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women-Led Businesses."  The paper examines the differential effect of the pandemic on women-led and men-led businesses sampling close to 40,000 mainly formal businesses from 49 countries over a period of six months in 2020. To learn more about the findings, click here to download a copy ...

PYMNTS media interviews Head of We-Fi Secretariat

How critical are data and digital technology in boosting women entrepreneurship in emerging markets? PYMNTS media's Oheneba Ama Nti Osei, interviews Wendy Teleki, head of We-Fi Secretariat, on how We-Fi (through implementing partners) is empowering women to become drivers of tech innovation, how data is shaping trends in entrepreneurship in emerging markets, and other issues. Watch the video...

Sustainable Bonds for Gender Equality

IFC, in partnership with UN Women and the International Capital Market Association, developed Bonds to Bridge the Gender Gap: A Practitioner’s Guide to Using Sustainable Debt for Gender Equality, as a guide that provides a framework to the market on how sustainable debt instruments can be used to advance gender equality in both the public and private sectors. Learn more...

Implementing Partners


Business Powering Gender Equity

March 3-4, 2022 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Department of State will hold its 12th Annual International Women’s Day Forum on March 3-4, 2022, to discuss how businesses, nonprofits, and governments can seize this moment to reinvent and drive sustainable progress for women. Learn more...

Gender-Smart Investing - Private Sector Approaches to Advance Gender Equality

March 3, 2022 | 8:00 - 9:00AM EST
This event, which is part of the World Bank Group’s yearlong Gender Equality and Development +10: Accelerate Equality initiative, will highlight key trends in the field of gender-smart investing, such as the amount of capital deployed across sectors and regions, and areas of focus for investors. Register here...

UN International Women’s Day 2022

March 8, 2022, | 10–11.30 am UTC–5 
The United Nations observance of International Women’s Day will be held virtually on 8 March, 10–11.30 am UTC–5. Learn more...

7th Annual MIGA Gender Leadership Award: Clean Energy for All

March 8, 2022 | 11 AM EST
Lucy Heintz, Partner & Head of Energy Infrastructure at Actis, will receive this year's MIGA Gender Leadership Award, for her commitment to furthering gender equality in the workplace, particularly in front line roles where women’s representation has historically been lacking. Learn more...

CSW66: We-Fi Side Event

March 17, 2022 | 2:00 - 3:30PM EST
The sixty-sixth session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) will take place from 14 to 25 March 2022. An information session on the 17th of March at 2:00 PM EST, tagged, ‘New data and digital solutions for women entrepreneurs in COVID response by World Bank We-Fi’ organized by the World Bank, will be part of the program of side events. Learn more...
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