IFC and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) has launched a new call for applications for IFC ScaleX, a new programme aiming to help tackle the financing gap that women entrepreneurs still face, particularly in emerging markets, by backing accelerators.
IFC ScaleX, for which IFC has partnered with Village Capital for implementation, is a performance-based initiative that will award up to US$25,000 to business accelerators that have helped women-led companies in emerging markets raise equity financing.
The aim is to incentivise accelerators to actively help women unlock funding opportunities, catalysing a total of US$40 million into women-led startups over the next two years.
“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.”
Wendy Teleki, head of the We-Fi Secretariat, said gender disparity in accessing funding, particularly in high-growth technology sectors, was still significant.
“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,” she said.