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Innovating to Support Women Entrepreneurs

Submitted by: International Finance Corporation

Categories: Human Resources & Diversity

Posted: Nov 19, 2007 – 09:44 AM EST


IFC and dfcu Group Host Summit of Global Banking Alliance for Women

Nov. 19 /CSRwire/ - KAMPALA, UGANDA - November 19, 2007 - A coalition of 15 banks from around the world is coming together in Uganda on November 19-20, 2007, to discuss how to increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs. This year's annual summit of the Global Banking Alliance for Women is being organized by dfcu Group, which is hosting the event, and by IFC, which serves as the alliance's secretariat.

Research shows that while women across the world are starting new businesses at increasing rates, access to finance remains a critical issue. Private and public sector financial institutions are addressing the needs of this burgeoning market by developing a range of programs and products, including loans, loan guarantees, loan pools, financial literacy training, and advisory services.

The summit will focus on three key topics: moving beyond land equity to find innovative forms of collateral for women borrowers, graduating successful women entrepreneurs from microfinance to commercial bank loans, and developing partnerships for secure and affordable remittance services. Alliance members and invited experts will share best practices and discuss new ideas to move forward on these fronts.

Moses Kibirige, Executive Director of dfcu Ltd, said, "As a group that actively supports women-owned businesses in Uganda, we are pleased to partner with IFC to host this year’s summit. We look forward to discussing issues of importance to women entrepreneurs with our colleagues worldwide."

Zouera Youssoufou, acting manager of IFC Gender Entrepreneurship Markets, noted, "Commercial banks play a critical role and can work together to find innovative solutions to the problems encountered by women entrepreneurs. This summit presents a unique opportunity for banks all over the world to learn from one another and develop long-term partnerships."

The Global Banking Alliance for Women is a consortium of best practice banks that leverage the market of women's businesses for profit as well as social good. It was founded by a group of banks recognized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for their role in advancing the growth of women in business worldwide. The goal is to accelerate women's wealth creation by sharing best practices among financial institutions worldwide. The alliance is housed in IFC's Gender Entrepreneurship Markets unit.

About dfcu Group

dfcu Group is a member of the Global Banking Alliance for Women. It offers long-term project finance, leasing, mortgages, and a full range of commercial banking services. The group is a private limited company owned by CDC Group plc (60 percent), NORFUND (10 percent), National Social Security Fund (10 percent), and an amalgam of private and corporate shareholders (20 percent). dfcu is listed on the Uganda Stock Exchange. For more information, please visit

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through loan participations and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

About GEM

IFC Gender Entrepreneurship Markets is a cross-cutting initiative to mainstream gender issues throughout IFC operations while helping better leverage the untapped potential of women in emerging markets. The program was launched in December 2004 to introduce a systematic focus on gender as a comparative advantage for IFC clients. Activities are structured around three main goals, with an initial regional focus on Africa and the Middle East: increasing access to finance for women, adding value to IFC investment projects, and addressing gender barriers in the business enabling environment.

For more information, please contact:

Lucie Giraud International Finance Corporation
Phone: 12024584662
Phone 2: 12022940504
Phone: +256 312 300 200

For more from this organization:

International Finance Corporation


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