Articles

Why Women-Owned Startups Are a Better Bet

According to Boston Consulting Group research, when women business owners pitch their ideas to investors for early-stage capital, they receive significantly less funding — a disparity that averages more than $1 million— than men. Yet businesses founded by women ultimately deliver higher revenue—more than twice as much per dollar invested—than those founded by men, making women-owned companies better investments for financial backers.

Articles

Articles

Disrupting Systems: Financing Africa’s Youth Entrepreneurs
On May 15-16, in the heart of Nairobi, Kenya, 300 plus individuals from more than 175 institutions and 50 countries gathered at the Africa SME Finance Forum to discuss innovative solutions to promote access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa. As a key supporter of the Forum, the Mastercard Foundation hosted a panel titled...
SME Experts Weigh in on Policy at OECD Observer Roundtable
Some 99% of firms in the OECD are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and they generate about 70% of all jobs. But in order to stay vital and competitive in today’s global economy, SMEs need support. OECD asked their panel of experts for their views. Why do SMEs matter for productivity and inclusive growth, and what new policies are needed...
Providing Pre-Seed and Seed Capital is an Essential Step to Bringing West Africa and Sahel’s Entrepreneurs to the Next Level
More than 40 percent of African entrepreneurs cite access to finance as the major factor limiting their growth, according to World Bank Enterprise Surveys. In this article, the author says that West African start-ups and innovative young SMEs are indeed facing the classic ‘valley of death’ — the space between where the entrepreneur’s own resources...
Rezani Aziz Discusses Women Entreprenuership in Sri Lanka
In 1988, Rezani Aziz joined the Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka to network with other business women. Today, she’s now the founder of the Federation of Women Entrepreneur Associations in Sri Lanka (FWEASL) and CEO of Adfactors PR. In this Democracy that Delivers’s podcast, Aziz shares the changes she’s witnessed and helped...
Why the Widening Gender Gap is a Wake-up Call for Us All
Henriette Kolb, Head, Gender Secretariat, for the International Finance Corporation, authors a post in response to The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report . The report analyzes disparities in health, education, economy, and politics — found that the overall average gender gap rose to 32%, up from 31.7% in 2016. Kolb says that one...
Tony Elumelu: Africapitalists Builds the Continent's Future
Tony O. Elumelu, C.O.N, Chairman at Heirs Holdings in Nigeria, pens an article on how African entrepreneurs are being supported by financial services to create a strong economic system on the continent. He describes how his institution has supported more than 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the last 10 years with funding and mentoring. The...
The Rise of Small Entrepreneurs in India
Lead economist at the World Bank, Ejaz Ghani, pens a blog on the rise of SMEs in India. SMEs account for over 95 percent of establishments and over 80 percent of jobs in the manufacturing sector in India. They are becoming increasingly prevalent and affect everything from poverty levels and shared prosperity to the allocation of activity in the...
Ukraine is a focus of SME Finance memer OPIC
OPIC Project Finance Director John Didiuk reflects on his recent attendance at the EBRD’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum in Cyprus, where he joined discussions about the investment climate in Ukraine. Since 2014, OPIC has more than quadrupled its portfolio to support the Ukraine’s growth and stability through greater private sector development...
Tackling Barriers to Women’s Economic Participation
In 2016, the connection between women’s economic participation and prosperity is undeniable. Decades of research from the International Monetary Fund , Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development , the World Economic Forum , and other leading organizations confirms that women’s participation in the labor force is critical to economic...
Job Preservation or Job Creation: Can’t We Have it Both Ways?
Using SME lines of credit and other SME support operations for long-term development or a quick term countercyclical fix? I recently attended an interesting presentation about a truly impressive credit guarantee agency, the Korean Credit Guarantee Agency (KODIT), established 40 years ago with $44 billion in outstanding guarantees and 220,000 SMEs...