Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative

  Oct 31, 2022

Towards a Decade of Empowering Women: We-Fi Embarks on Its Second Term

By Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat

When fourteen donor governments came together in 2017 to establish the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), little did we anticipate the shockwaves the world would come to face. This October, as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of We-Fi and launch its second term, We-Fi has already facilitated $1.2 billion in loans and grants and supported over 50,000 women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) who are defying the odds amid overlapping challenges.

We-Fi at 2022 World Bank Group Annual Meetings

On Thursday, October 13th, We-Fi co-hosted with the World Bank's Gender team a successful discussion at the 2022 Annual Meetings that brought together government ministers, entrepreneurs, private sector and civil society leaders to discuss lessons learned from advancing gender equality and empowerment through development finance. 


Wendy Teleki Named One of Forbes “50 Over 50”

Wendy was named Forbes "50 over 50" women in finance for having spent her career advocating for women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, including as head of the We-Fi Secretariat. Read more...

Implementing Partner Updates


SME Connect online platform launched to empower women entrepreneurs

With We-Fi support, the SME Connect platform was developed jointly by NEDA and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to provide access to a wealth of information and knowledge and, further support women-led businesses in Sri Lanka, by providing women entrepreneurs with opportunities for business mentoring and peer networking. Read more...


AFAWA and AFI urge African Finance Ministers, central bank governors to boost financial inclusion for Africa’s women-led businesses

The African Development Bank's Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa program, known as AFAWA, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) introduced African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to a new partnership set to increase financial inclusion for women-led enterprises across the continent. Learn more...


EBRD promotes climate finance and SME lending in Mongolia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing funds and creating new growth opportunities for grassroots businesses in Mongolia by offering a financial package of US $70 million to the country’s largest commercial lender Khan Bank. The loan will be supported by grant funding of up to US $8 million from We-Fi. Read more...


IFC announces loan to support MSMEs and women in Peru

The project, under IFC's Banking on Women (BOW) business, will be supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF) and We-Fi with a performance-based incentive of up to $530,000. Read more...

The World Bank:

United Arab Emirates (UAE): Case study on legal reforms to strengthen women’s economic inclusion

The recently published case study explores the nature of the legal reforms in the UAE, their potential implications for women’s economic empowerment and the UAE’s gender policy goals, and the factors that provided the enabling conditions for change. Download report...
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From the development community:

Women entrepreneurship news and events

Upcoming: Financial Alliance for Women Annual Summit

Financial Alliance for Women's 2022 Summit will explore topics that are critical to enable inclusive growth for women and build sustainable economies. The Summit will take place November 2-3 in London and online. Learn more...

2022 GenderSmart Summit: Traction to Transformation

A GenderSmart Summit on Traction and Transformation in the Investment Ecosystem with a gender lens was held on October 18 and 19, 2022.  Read more...

Queen Máxima presents new annual report to Secretary-General, champions financial inclusion at UNGA

The report, written under the theme “Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”, highlights the UNSGSA’s strategic work over the previous 12 months, including in the context of the recently released World Bank Global Findex Database.
Learn more...

Webinar: Closing gender gap in digital microinsurance among women smallholders in Africa

Watch a webinar focused on learning and knowledge from initiatives that support women smallholder farmers to boost and protect their yields through digital microinsurance and agricultural data services. Learn more...

A path to prosperity for Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs

Moon Das, a lawyer by profession in Bangladesh, had a dream to help hardworking rural women. This led her to start her entrepreneurship journey in 2018 to promote Jamdani, a fine muslin textile. She soon started facing the challenges of operating a business. Read more...

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