EmpowerHer: Stories from the SME Finance Forum’s WEF CoP

EmpowerHer: Stories from the SME Finance Forum’s WEF CoP

The Forum established the Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance CoP (WEF CoP) Practice for groups of practitioners from member institutions to meet and share experiences, seek solutions to challenges that they face in financing women-SMEs. Since launching in 2022, the WEF CoP has evolved into a powerful example of how to empower women entrepreneurs through financial awareness, tailored financial services and promoting financial inclusion for women-led SMEs.

The primary goal of WEF CoP is to translate shared experiences and insights into practical knowledge applicable to better serve women-owned and women-led SMEs (W-SMEs). As a member driven community, it draws on the collective knowledge and experience of industry leaders and practitioners across regions, together with experts from IFC. The platform has facilitated knowledge sharing and connections amongst over 500 industry practitioners, providing practical solutions that members implement in their operations.

The community fosters open discussions, sharing insights, and exchanging ideas on various practical topics relevant to women entrepreneurs, including product design and delivery, business development, risk management, alternative data utilization, legal and regulatory matters, and more. Additionally, it provides a space to discuss the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, fostering the exploration of mitigation techniques and solutions. Through this dialogue, members collectively contribute their unique cross regional experiences and insights, enriching the knowledge pool that benefits both women-owned SMEs and financial service providers.

On International Women’s Day/ Month 2024 we are pleased to showcase the remarkable work and impact of our member community in their respective markets and regions. Fostering partnerships, technology, and innovations, members develop unique solutions and products towards sustainable financial services for W-SMEs. These unique stories reflect the tremendous collective impact of our community in providing financial services to W-SMEs, thereby, closing the gender finance gap and facilitating W-SMEs full contribution to the global economy.

Here are some of the captivating stories and innovative initiatives from our remarkable community:

  •  Small Business Silver Lining supports small business owners through its Silver Lining Action Plan (SLAP), a tech-enabled, data-driven program, which helps users set defined goals and plot an attainable route to them using behavioral psychology. Silver lining has worked with 14,000 small businesses in more than 76 countries, helping them to become more profitable and sustainable. Read more

  • Overview of the European Investment Bank’s support for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. It details the Bank’s activities in the sector and highlights key projects. The stories, videos and case studies, illustrate how the Bank’s financing and advice help countries, regions and cities. Read more
  • Alraedah provides financial services to women-SMEs to achieve their business and personal financial goals, and thereby improve lives. In this video see how Alraedah supported the small dream of a W-SME into a leading confectionary business in Saudi Arabia. Watch the video
  • Stanbic IBTC’s strong commitment to empowering women led to the creation of an innovative value proposition called Blue Blossom. This unique offering provides women in business comprehensive financial (bank and non-bank) and non-financial benefits, empowering women to take control of their finances, future and live a fulfilling lifestyle. It provides solutions aimed to foster the growth and success of women entrepreneurs.

    The GoBloom Community’s value proposition recognizes that today’s woman requires tailored non-financial solutions alongside comprehensive support to foster learning, connections, wellness, and personal development. Read more

  • FMO - Dutch entrepreneurial development bank's innovative women and climate project empowers rural women entrepreneurs in India and promotes the use of clean energy products to drive change. Read more

  • Access Bank Plc innovative 'W' initiative tailors products and services to meet the unique needs and requirements of women SMEs. In this video a client shares her experience, and the impact of the W-Power Loan on her business. Watch the video

  • Funding Societies | Modalku Group offers innovative alternative financing services to women-SMEs. In this video, the founder of a fast growing cookie bakery in Malaysia attests to the benefits and flexibility of Funding Societies | Modalku Group's Digital Financial Services. Watch the video


Financial EducationFinancial InclusionAlternative FinancingGender FinanceYouth Entrepreneurship