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World's First Private Sector Gender Bond Finances Women-Owned SMEs in Emerging Markets

World's First Private Sector Gender Bond Finances Women-Owned SMEs in Emerging Markets

IFC invested $75 million in a Gender Bond issued by Turkey’s Garanti Bank (a SME Finance Forum member). IFC details the story of how and why the investment with Garanti was a bold one. The bank, which is known in the market for its commitment to access to finance for women, is the first private sector bank in the world to launch a gender bond dedicated to financing women-owned small business in emerging markets. The bond has a six-year term maturity and was issued in line with IFC’s environmental and social guidelines and inspired by the ICMA Social Bond Principles. All the proceeds are earmarked for onlending to women-owned small enterprises. Lending to female clients is expected to triple over the next five years.

“IFC has been supporting women for a long time,” notes Investment Officer Yaa Boakye, who pitched the idea. “The question is what is different. When you structure something with a specific label, like a gender bond, you have that label and that brand, and investors start looking at that.”