Network News: February 2020

Every month, the Financial Alliance for Women publishes a roundup of the latest updates from network partners and members. Take a look at what’s new below:

IFC Launches Women’s Housing Finance Research

The IFC Banking on Women team launched a multi-country research report in late January called “Her Home” to inspire a discussion around financing women’s property and homes. “Her Home” assesses the housing finance market for women in Colombia, India and Kenya. The study found that women in these countries would like to buy homes, but unstable incomes and lack of collateral hold them back. The report suggests customization and targeted products, among other interventions, to secure the women’s market for housing finance and unlock the billions of dollars women stand to contribute to this industry in developing economies.

TD Bank Initiates Series of Services to Support Women Entrepreneurs

The BIG Push: A business accelerator supporting women-founded technology companies to become investment ready and scale faster, including the Lift-Off Program designed to accelerate the growth of women-identified founders — specifically tech startups at the pre-seed and seed stage.

Futurpreneur Side Hustle Program: A $15,000 low-interest unsecured loan coupled with a mentoring program supporting female-managed start-ups.

Podcast Series – The Brand Is Female: A podcast targeting women of all backgrounds who have an interest in equality, female leadership and self-growth. It also presents an opportunity for business bankers to champion their clients’ businesses by having them talk about their experiences with the bank and the progress they’ve made since inception.

Itaú Launches Third Acceleration Program for Women Entrepreneurs

The Itaú Woman Entrepreneur Acceleration program selected six women entrepreneurs with financially sustainable businesses and high potential for positive impact on society to participate in the third edition of its learning and development program. Between February and May 2020, participants will be encouraged to develop soft and hard skills, in addition to undergoing training and mentoring to help them plan, measure and scale the positive impact of their businesses.

The selection criteria included clarity in the definition of the problem being addressed and the solution offered, potential for environmental and social transformation, project maturity, and scalability.

“For Itaú, stimulating women’s productive capacity is investing in the social and economic development of the country,” said Luciana Nicola, Superintendent of Institutional Relations, Sustainability and Inclusive Business at Itaú Unibanco. “The Itaú Woman Entrepreneur Acceleration program works to improve management techniques and the self-esteem of entrepreneurs, making the business plan more robust and ambitious.” 

In Brazil, women are the majority among early-stage entrepreneurs (20.7 percent women vs. 19.9 percent men), but a minority in established businesses (9.9 percent vs. 18.6 percent). Since it was created, the Itaú Woman Entrepreneur Acceleration program has helped 60 entrepreneurs evolve their companies.

The program is part of Itaú’s Women Entrepreneurs initiative, a free and open content platform for training, inspiration and connection of entrepreneurs.

Stanbic Zambia Holds Anakazi Banking Business Trip of the Year

Twenty women entrepreneurs flew to Paris in December 2019 as part of the Anakazi Banking Business Trip of the Year. In partnership with the She Trades initiative of the International Trade Center, the Business Trip of the Year offers female customers an opportunity to link with international markets, network, understand how things are done differently abroad, find new markets to export to, and train on how to export and source funding from international organizations that wish to invest in Africa.

Shortlisted businesses already have an existing product and are ready to export. The cost of the trip is covered by the business owner, while Anakazi Banking facilitates the trip and links them to the international market.

This was the second edition of the program. In 2018, entrepreneurs flew to Dubai and attended the Natural Organic Expo, while the 2019 Paris trip focused on the food and beverage industry.

In addition, on February 13 Anakazi Banking held an appreciation cocktail for 200 women, in collaboration with Toyota. The cocktail showcased the vehicle insurance product that had been tailor-made for women, with unique benefits such as flat tire assistance and hand bag coverage.