Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative


The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) has announced its third call for proposals.

This third round of funding has been redesigned to help Implementing Partners focus on the biggest gaps and opportunities in We-Fi’s theory of change and encourage innovation, partnership development, and the use of results based mechanisms.

The objective of We-Fi is to address financial and non-financial constraints faced by women-owned/led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in countries/territories that are eligible for financing from the International Development Association (IDA) and/or the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), provided they are also eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA).

We-Fi aims to achieve its objectives by using funding to mobilize billions of dollars in additional financing from commercial and international financial institutions (IFI) to provide women entrepreneurs with access to debt, equity, venture capital, insurance products, capacity building, networks and mentors, and opportunities to link with domestic and global markets; and for governments to improve the business environment for women-owned/led SMEs.

We-Fi has a strategic goal of allocating 50 percent of its resources to activities in IDA countries and/or fragile and conflict affected countries/territories.

We-Fi welcomes proposals for global/regional, multi-country, and single country programs/projects.

Funding Information

The minimum threshold for a We-Fi funding request is USD 10 million.

Types of Activities

We-Fi is a platform to align country-level reforms and private investment, build on and implement lessons learned about what works for starting and growing women-owned/led firms, collect key data from the public and private sector on women entrepreneurs and their firms, and support innovation and learning for results at scale.

We-Fi seeks proposals that demonstrate comprehensive and strategic approaches to leveraging strategic partnerships and use of results-based mechanisms to support the growth and impact of women’s entrepreneurship.

To enable We-Fi to be more strategic and targeted in addressing the current gaps and opportunities in the portfolio, specific themes have been prioritized for this call for proposals, they are:

  • Women-led SMEs in Value Chains,
  • Disruptive Technologies and Digital Financial Inclusion for Women-led SMEs,
  • Scaling Early Stage Finance for Women-led SMEs.Funding PrinciplesThe We-Fi Governing Committee seeks a portfolio of programs/projects that demonstrate:
  • Mobilization/leverage of significant additional funding from other sources.
  • A focus on low-income countries, IDA and/or fragile and conflict-affected countries/territories and/or underserved women entrepreneurs in middle-income countries).
  • Effective use of results based mechanisms or blended finance.
  • Strategic partnerships with a focus on global and regional private sector entities, and non-profits which demonstrate potential to be transformational or scale impact.
  • Allocation decisions will be made by the We-Fi Governing Committee (GC) based on the strength of the proposal, keeping in mind the overall composition of the portfolio that is most likely to achieve the overall goals of the We-Fi.Country EligibilityWe-Fi can finance programs or projects in ODA-eligible countries and territories that are eligible to receive funding from the IBRD and/or IDA, including through trust funds administered by the World Bank.For those proposals targeting Africa, special consideration will be given to those with activities in G-20 Compact Countries.Eligibility Criteria

    The following accredited multilateral development banks (MDBs) are eligible to apply for We-Fi funding under this Third Call for Proposals:

    African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, International Finance Corporation, Islamic Development Bank Group, and World Bank (the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the International Development Association).

    Apply by 30th March. For more information and application details, see; Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here