Submitted by International Finance Corporation
WASHINGTON,DC. - October 21, 2008 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Bank of Scotland, part of the HBOS Group, are hosting a global summit to discuss innovative ways to increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs. The 8th Summit of Global Banking Alliance for Women is being held in London on October 20 to 22, 2008.
As Secretariat for the Global Banking Alliance for Women since 2005, IFC has been promoting the alliance in emerging markets to better support women entrepreneurs in developing economies. This year, the summit welcomes an increased number of participants from emerging markets.
The event presents an opportunity for member banks operating in developed and emerging markets to share experiences and lessons learned in accessing the women's market profitably. Discussions will revolve around four key topics: integrating women entrepreneurs in the bank's strategy, educating women clients to help them achieve their business goals, identifying opportunities for the women’s market, and the future direction of the alliance. The alliance will also present the "GBA Most Innovative Bank of the Year Award" to the member that has found the most innovative way to reach women entrepreneurs in the year of 2007 to 2008.
Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services, said, "IFC research demonstrates that access to finance is one of the main obstacles to the growth of women-owned small and medium enterprises. Working with GBA members, IFC helps clients develop customized and innovative financial services for their women customers. Supporting women entrepreneurs means better business for financial institutions and greater economic growth for developing countries - a win-win situation toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals."
Clare Logie, Director HBOS Women and Chair, Global Banking Alliance for Women, said, "We are committed to promoting the women's market and are delighted to work alongside IFC and the Global Banking Alliance for Women in bringing the GBA Summit to London in 2008."
Since 2005, the overall membership of the Global Banking Alliance has grown from four to 18, five of which are from emerging markets, including Egypt, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. This increased interest reflects the growing recognition of the alliance at global and political levels.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the Bank of Scotland
The Bank of Scotland is the first bank in the United Kingdom to have a full-time team dedicated to women in business. HBOS Women was originally established in 2003, under the name Women in Business, to research, establish, and communicate the issues and challenges pertaining to women business owners. The team was rebranded in 2007 to reflect the HBOS Group's commitment to women in the U.K. For more information, visit www.hboswomen.co.uk.
About the Global Banking Alliance for Women
The Global Banking Alliance for Women is a consortium of financial institutions that have successfully leveraged the women's market for profit. GBA members collaborate on identifying and sharing global best practices in the delivery of financial services to women. Its aim is to create a global community where financial institutions can come together and share best practices for the growth of women's economic empowerment worldwide. For more information, visit www.gbaforwomen.org
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services.
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