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Inter-American Development Bank highlights catalytic role of women-led SMEs

Aug 21, 2014

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) will host the 13th Annual Summit of the Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) at its headquarters in Washington, D.C. The three-day event, to be held September 17-19, brings together representatives from the banking sector, governments, leading NGOs, and the development finance community to exchange best practices and discuss business models that help build women’s wealth worldwide.

The Summit will feature a Special Forum on “Achieving Sustainability through the Female Economy” on Thursday, September 18, which will focus on the link between corporate sustainability and serving the women’s market, as well as the power of data in advancing the business case for women’s financial inclusion. Luis Alberto Moreno, president of the IDB, and Chris Sullivan, Chair of GBA and Deputy Chief Executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, will deliver opening remarks at the Forum.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, women-led SMEs make up a high-growth yet underserved segment of the economy – the financing gap is the highest in the world at an estimated $85 billion.

To provide incentives to banks and other financial intermediaries to test innovative, inclusive lending models, the IDB launched in 2012 the women entrepreneurshipBanking (weB) program, a joint effort between the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department and the MIF. Under this program more than $110 million in loans and technical assistance has been approved for 11 banks in the region to increase the access to credit for over 100,000 women-led SMEs during the next 5 years.

As sponsors of GBA, the IDB and the MIF encourage financial institutions in the region that are interested in taking advantage of the women’s business market to attend this year’s GBA Annual Summit. Interested banks can contact Laura Giraldo to request further information. 

About the Global Banking Alliance for Women

The GBA is a global consortium of financial institutions driving women's wealth creation. GBA members include 39 financial institutions that work in more than 135 countries to build innovative, comprehensive programs that provide women entrepreneurs with vital access to finance, information, education and networking opportunities.

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