The FINANCIAL -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, on April 5 announced a $50 million loan to YES BANK, India’s 5th largest private sector bank, to be used exclusively to lend to women-owned businesses. This project is part of the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), the first-of-its-kind global facility dedicated to expanding access to capital for approximately 100,000 women entrepreneurs. It was launched by IFC, through its Banking on Women program, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women in 2014.
An estimated three million women-owned businesses in India employ over eight million people. However, only about a quarter of them are able to get the finance they need to grow and create jobs. The $50 million YES BANK loan aims to support women in all 29 states and 7 union territories in India, according to IFC.
“Women entrepreneurs have the potential to power growth and shape the Indian economy, but the lack of access to finance is holding them back. This is something our Banking on Women program is working to change,” said Marcos Brujis, Global Director, Financial Institutions Group, IFC. “Partnerships with key players like YES Bank are central to IFC’s strategy to boost financial inclusion in India.”
On the successful completion of the transaction, Rana Kapoor, Managing Director and CEO, YES BANK, said, “This is a significant step towards strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem for women and will directly impact livelihoods. This facility demonstrates YES BANK’s ability to partner with global institutions like IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women to expand access to finance to the unbanked and underserved populations and achieve our vision of Responsible Banking. This facility will also complement various Government of India schemes for women entrepreneurs.’’
"Goldman Sachs is deeply committed to promoting women's entrepreneurship in India. In partnership with IFC, we have created the first ever global finance facility dedicated exclusively to women entrepreneurs. Through YES BANK’s established local network we hope to place more capital in the hands of women entrepreneurs in India.” said Sonjoy Chatterjee, Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs in India. “The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative has provided business training to over 1,300 women entrepreneurs in India to help them grow their businesses. Access to capital, however, remains a major obstacle to growth for women entrepreneurs. Goldman Sachs research shows that closing this gender credit gap by 2020 could result in a per capita income increase of around 12 percent in emerging markets by 2030. We expect this partnership to further economic growth and jobs for India.”
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/ IFC Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility aims to help close an estimated $285 billion credit gap for women-owned SMEs around the world. To date, the facility has made over $400 million in commitments with banks in 14 emerging economies.
IFC has a long-standing relationship with YES BANK, dating back to 2011. IFC first invested $75 million in tier-II debt and has partnered with the bank in several firsts, including a line of credit for SMEs in low-income states and YES BANK being the issuer of IFC’s first emerging market Green Bond investment. The current transaction is another first to extend a line of credit under the aegis of the Women Entrepreneur Opportunity facility
YES BANK remains committed to empowering Women Entrepreneurs through access to finance, and in Dec 2014 raised a $200 Million Loan from Asian Development Bank to lend to rural women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) and small farm households. MSMEs are also a key focus area for YES BANK and in December 2015, the bank signed a loan agreement of $245 million with OPIC to increase lending to MSMEs. The current loan agreement of $50 million with IFC under the WEOF will allow YES BANK to address both these areas and further empower MSME Women Entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.
IFC’s Banking on Women program is playing a catalytic role in helping financial institutions meet the needs of women entrepreneurs in a sustainable and profitable way. The program has committed 34 investments globally, totaling over $1 billion, since its launch in 2010.
This new partnership deepens Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women’s commitment to women entrepreneurs in India. Since 2008, 10,000 Women has worked with the Indian School of Business to provide business and management training to over 1,300 women entrepreneurs in 13 cities across India. Eighteen months after completing the program, 80 percent of participants have reported increases in revenue and 60 percent have added new jobs.