IFC and Goldman Sachs encourage female business owners in SA

IFC has announced a R600m ($41m) investment in Business Partners to strengthen women-owned businesses in South Africa and help create employment.

The senior long-term loan is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), a first-of-its-kind global finance facility dedicated to expanding access to capital for women entrepreneurs, launched in 2014 by IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women.

Charlotte Keenan, global head of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, said, “We are committed to expanding access to finance and business education for women owned businesses. Our partnership in South Africa allows us to work with an experienced local institution, and to accelerate its ability to help more women owned enterprises in this important market to grow.”

While financial inclusion in South Africa has reached 69 per cent, according to the latest World Bank Findex survey, 42 per cent of formal micro, small and medium enterprises are still excluded from accessing the finance they need to grow and create jobs. IFC estimates the total formal sector MSME finance gap in South Africa is R426bn ($29bn), with demand from women-owned enterprises accounting for 17 per cent of the gap.

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