Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao submitted a report to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on an ADB project in Sri Lanka funded by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) at the Osaka G20 Summit on June 29.
World leaders attended as Nakao submitted the report, accompanied by the Zahra Cader We-Fi project’s training program coordinator. Since 2016, ADB has endorsed the Government of Sri Lanka’s attempts to promote female entrepreneurship through the Credit Project Line for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). This represents a central pillar in encouraging gender equality in ADB’s fresh 2030 strategy.
ADB obtained a $12.6 million grant from We-Fi in April 2018 that allowed the project to expand its gender-related effects through increased access for women-owned or prompted SMEs to finance, coaching, and mentoring.
So far, the We-Fi grant has benefited financially from 323 women-owned or led SMEs employing 3,934 individuals. Furthermore, ADB will enhance the technical ability of a broad spectrum of stakeholders including government, banks, chambers of commerce, and SMEs to promote an ecosystem of women’s entrepreneurship.
In addition, in April 2019, ADB obtained a further $20.19 million We-Fi grant to promote female entrepreneurship in Viet Nam and tiny Pacific island nations. The 5-year program will benefit about 5,000 women-led SMEs from Viet Nam and the nations in the Pacific region.
As part of its dedication to promoting women’s economic empowerment, which is one of the operational objectives of its newly adopted 2030 strategy, ADB invests in women’s entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific. By 2030, 75% of all ADB projects are anticipated to encourage gender equality.
ADB is committed to making Asia and the Pacific prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable while maintaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. It produced fresh loans and grants obligations of $21.6 billion in 2018. Established in 1966, it belongs to the region’s 68 members 49.