IFC ScaleX launches new call to reduce the gender financing gap


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) have launched a new call for applications for IFC ScaleX. To help close the financing gap that women entrepreneurs face, this initiative will award $25,000 to accelerators that have specifically helped companies that are led by women to raise equity financing in emerging markets.

This award aims to encourage accelerators to actively help women to access funding opportunities. According to research, the startups that do raise external financing can grow up to 30% faster than those startups that do not. 

“Gender disparity in accessing funding, particularly in high-growth technology sectors, is still significant,” said Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat. “It is troubling to see that women entrepreneurs receive only a small fraction of the global venture capital, despite the enormous potential of their solutions. IFC ScaleX will help promote more gender-inclusive acceleration and investment across emerging markets, which is critical for creating more high-growth and resilient women-led firms.”

Accessing equity is already difficult enough, but for women, this task is even more challenging: only 11% of seed funding in emerging markets goes to companies that count with a female founder. And for later-stage funding, the numbers are even lower. 

“After acceleration, women raise far less capital than men, other factors being equal,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Senior Vice President of Operations at IFC. “We must level the playing field to ensure the best ideas are funded. IFC ScaleX is designed to do this, backing impactful accelerators that are themselves backing women entrepreneurs with great ideas.”

For this initiative, IFC has partnered with Village Capital, the largest supporter of impact-driven and seed-stage startups in the world. Interested accelerators can visit the IFC ScaleX website and determine if they are eligible to apply for an award. For more information, reach out to the IFC ScaleX team at [email protected].

Read more about this initiative on IFC’s press release

-International Finance Corporation (IFC) and The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

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