The facility also seeks to help women in developing countries gain increased access to the finance, markets, and networks necessary to start and grow a business.
The facility will be established as a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) at the Bank, drawing on the Bank’s extensive experience of housing such Funds.
According to a World Bank release issued Monday, the Bank and IFC will be Implementing Partners, as well as other Multilateral Development Banks that would propose private and public sector activities to be supported by the We-Fi facility.
The United States, which initiated the idea for the facility, will serve as a founding member along with other donor countries.
“This incredible facility will have a significant impact on women's economic development around the world,” said U.S President Donald Trump, according to the release.
Trump described the facility as one that seeks to increase opportunities and economic growth while addressing unique barriers women entrepreneurs face, adding, “I am proud the United States is helping to lead support of this unprecedented initiative."
For his part, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said women’s economic empowerment is critical to achieve the inclusive economic growth required to end extreme poverty.
“This new facility offers an unprecedented opportunity to harness both the public and private sectors to open new doors of opportunity for women entrepreneurs and women-owned firms in developing countries around the globe,” he indicated.
Also speaking at the occasion, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said everyone benefits when women have the resources they need to participate fully in our economies and societies, adding, “Our Government is determined to help women gain the tools they need to be successful entrepreneurs and leaders. This important investment will help women in developing countries to create jobs, build economies that work for everyone, and have a real and fair chance at success.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany added: “And I don’t have the slightest doubt that under the leadership of Jim Kim these will be truly valuable and productive investments.”
As for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, women’s active participation in society is one of the pillars of Abenomics.
“Women’s empowerment and leadership will diversify and revitalize organizations and societies. This facility embodies such belief in developing countries, and is a promising initiative to achieve a society where women shine,” Abe noted.