The World Bank Group has announced the creation of a more than $1 billion innovative new facility that aims to advance women’s entrepreneurship.
The facility would also help women in developing countries gain increased access to the finance, markets, and networks necessary to start and grow a business.
A statement issued by the World Bank said the US initiated the idea for the facility and would serve as a founding member along with other donor countries.
“This incredible facility will have a significant impact on women’s economic development around the world,” US President Donald Trump said.
“It will help increase opportunities and economic growth while addressing unique barriers women entrepreneurs face. I am proud the US is helping to lead support of this unprecedented initiative,” he added.
The World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said: “Women’s economic empowerment is critical to achieving the inclusive economic growth required to end extreme poverty, which is why it has been such a longstanding priority for us”.
“This new facility offers an unprecedented opportunity to harness both the public and private sectors to open new doors of opportunity for women entrepreneurs and women-owned firms in developing countries around the globe,” he added.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “Everyone benefits when women have the resources they need to participate fully in our economies and societies”.
Chancellor Merkel of Germany said: “I am happy that this initiative for women presents real added value. I want to sincerely thank everyone who worked on it.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: “Women’s active participation in society is one of the pillars of Abenomics. Women’s empowerment and leadership will diversify and revitalize organization and societies.”
The initiative received strong donor support from countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Britain, and the US.
“It’s remarkable how quickly the international community has mobilized support for this new initiative, which has exceeded our target by nearly $100 million,” the World Bank Group President said.