At Global Entrepreneurship Summit, OPIC highlights need for investment in women
Last week, OPIC joined leaders at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India. The theme for this year’s event, “Women First, Prosperity for All”, focused on increasing economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs. OPIC President and CEO Ray Washburne joined the summit to highlight OPIC’s work supporting women entrepreneurs and its strong commitment to the region.
“What has really opened my eyes here is the strong entrepreneurial spirit that women have in this country and how much that is growing,” Washburne told the Economic Times.
In developing countries, women own almost one-third of all the small businesses, but often struggle to obtain small business loans. Kathryn Kaufman, OPIC managing director for women’s initiatives, spoke on a panel where she stressed the potential of the female economy, and noted that closing the gender labor gap could add $12 trillion to global economic growth by 2025.
OPIC supports multiple projects in developing countries that are empowering women, helping them start and grow their businesses that bring jobs and opportunity to their families and their communities.
Earlier this year, OPIC committed financing to India's YES BANK, with $50 million dedicated to women-owned businesses in India, where an estimated three million women-owned businesses employ over eight million people, but often struggle to access the financing they need to expand and create jobs.
OPIC also supports female farmers, who often maintain just a single acre of land and struggle to produce enough income to feed their families. OPIC financing to One Acre Fund has provided many of these women training and better seeds to help them increase their yields and earn more income.
This year’s GES event was hosted by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, with the U.S. delegation led by Advisor to the President of the United States Ivanka Trump.