Finance program passes target of helping 100,000 women entrepreneurs

Egyptian entrepreneur Hanan Khalil speaks at a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women program at the State Department in 2015. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF) โ€” a partnership between Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and the International Finance Corporation โ€” on Wednesday will announce it has reached 164,000+ women entrepreneurs, eclipsing the target of 100,000 set at launch nine years ago.

Why it matters: The program tells Axios on International Women's Day that it has provided over $4.5 billion in loans via financial institutions to women-owned businesses.

"Working through 95 financial institutions, the first-of-its-kind finance facility has made more than 172,000 loans in 55 countries, … promoting an inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," the announcement says.

  • "WEOF-participating financial institutions continue to report healthy growth and strong asset quality in their women-owned SME portfolios."

WEOF was launched in 2014 with funding from the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

  • David Solomon, Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO, says in a statement to Axios: "Through this innovative facility, we've helped tens of thousands of women business owners access capital so that they can grow their businesses, reach their potential and drive economic growth."

๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ Case in point: Dr. Seema Garg of India, who received funding through WEOF, had risen to become CEO of a 350-bed hospital and vice president of a petrochemical company.

  • But she longed to be her own boss โ€” and launched SB Hospital and Healthcare Private Ltd., a company that designs, builds and renovates hospitals.
  • "My aim is that three years down the line," she says, "if someone is looking to build a hospital, they should call us."

This week is the 15th anniversary of the 10,000 Women in-person business education program, which has reached 200,000+ women in 150+ countries since launching in 2008.

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