G20 leaders today adopted a World Bank funding plan of up to $1 billion for women entrepreneurs in developing nations, an initiative championed by US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka. The initiative was launched here by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim in the presence of Ivanka Trump and her father as also G20 host Angela Merkel and other world leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and IMF chief Christine Lagarde. The G20 said women entrepreneurs play a critical role in economic development by creating jobs and boosting growth, but women face numerous challenges. These include access to capital, lack of networks and knowledge resources, as well as legal and policy obstacles to business ownership and development, it added. “We, the G20 leaders, building upon our long-standing engagement in women’s empowerment, welcome the launch the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative,” it said. For the facility, the World Bank serves as trustee to improve women’s access to capital, provide technical assistance and invest in other projects and programs that support women entrepreneurs and women-owned SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) in World Bank client countries. The facility is expected to raise up to $1 billion of financing to support women entrepreneurs. An initial grant financing of around $200 million from G20 and non-G20 donors aims to leverage an additional $800 million in commercial as well as international financial institution funding.
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It would comprise a private sector and a public sector window. The private sector window is designed to improve access to capital and related critical services, provide technical assistance and invest in other projects and programmes to support women entrepreneurs. To be established at the World Bank Group, the facility would become operational this year itself.