The aim is to mobilize EUR 1 billion of investment that can benefit millions of African Women Entrepreneurs with better access to finance and by making sustainable infrastructure services and products work for them. This initiative was launched simultaneously at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg and at the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg.
Building on experience in northern and sub-Saharan African countries as well as in gender-focused lending, the EIB will step up efforts to further invest in projects, sectors, and markets that have a transformative effect on gender equality and can increase the capacity of women and girls to participate in the economy and labor market.
In addition, dedicated Technical Assistance will provide capacity building and mentoring to women entrepreneurs so that they can better access finance and will support intermediaries in designing financial products tailored to their needs.
SheInvest will focus particularly on investment in innovative digital solutions and financial products to reach women and girls who are often excluded from such services. This should increase their economic opportunities and social inclusion.
The initiative also aims to promote gender-responsive climate financing, acknowledging the key role played by women in climate action and at the same time addressing their vulnerability to climate change impacts.
The investment will, therefore, target climate and gender-responsive infrastructure projects, such as projects enhancing women’s access to water, clean, reliable and affordable energy, as well as sustainable public transport.
Investment under this initiative will be guided by the 2X Challenge criteria, that the EU Bank adopted to increase the impact of its financing for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in developing countries.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union and is owned by the EU Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals both in Europe and beyond, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The EIB is present in more than 160 countries.
To improve the impact of its activities on women and girls, the EIB adopted a Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment and a Gender Action Plan with the aim of embedding gender equality and, in particular women’s economic empowerment in the EIB’s business model covering its lending, blending and advising work within and outside the EU.