The initiative aims to foster economic growth and job creation by matching qualified alumnae of The World Bank hosted a panel discussion and signing ceremony to mark the formation of an innovative public-private partnership between Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women, the government of Denmark, and the U.S. Department of State. The initiative aims to foster economic growth and job creation by matching qualified alumnae of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Women program, as well as qualified alumnae of select U.S. Department of State programs, with affordable sources of capital through loan guarantees.
The partnership will be piloted in Tanzania, where the Danish government will facilitate access to finance via CRDB Bank by providing loan guarantees and work to develop sustainable banking products which are more accessible for qualified candidates and women in general. 10,000 Women will liaise directly with dedicated loan officers at CRDB Bank to ensure qualified candidates, including alumnae from 10,000 Women and U.S. Department of State programs, can access loan products offered by CRDB Banks. The US Department of State, along with the government of Denmark, will work to identify entrepreneurs to participate in the program. Based on pilot results, the partnership is slated for expansion into new countries in 2012.
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick opened the event and participated in a discussion with panelists Christian Friis Bach (Minister for Development Cooperation, Denmark); Patricia G. Greene (Paul T. Babson Chair of Entrepreneurial Studies, Babson College); John F. W. Rogers (Executive Vice President, Goldman Sachs); and, Melanne Verveer (Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State). Nina Easton (Washington Columnist, Senior Editor, and Co-chair Most Powerful Women Summit, Fortune) moderated the panel.
"Gender equality is smart economics. The evidence is indisputable: women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses make significant contributions to a country's economic development and overcoming poverty," said President Zoellick in a December 13 press release. "Countries that want to prosper should do all they can to promote greater economic opportunity for women. Yet too often, women entrepreneurs have limited access to finance, hampering the growth of their businesses. Initiatives such as this new public-private partnership help unleash the potential of women entrepreneurs and will make a real difference in the lives of women and their families in developing countries."
Contact: Maura K. Leary