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By Wendy Teleki, Head of the We-Fi Secretariat

Embark with We-Fi this year on our renewed mandate to instigate systemic change, empower women entrepreneurs and accelerate gender equality. Leaning in to 2024, I’m eager to spotlight the strides we’ve already made and share milestones and updates of what lies ahead for We-Fi and our partners.

This month, we are thrilled to introduce We-Fi’s latest Annual Report. We’ve come a long way since launching in 2017: in just six years, We-Fi has facilitated a total of $3.6 billion in financing to more than 150,000 women-led small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) across the developing world. With $364 million in donor contributions, our multilateral development bank, public and private sector partners have also provided training and support to more than 28,000 WSMEs, helping them overcome barriers, build capacity, and succeed in their markets. I encourage you to delve into our Annual Report and learn more about our results, impact, and stories from the field.

View our 2023 Annual Report

Wendy Teleki

Head of the We-Fi Secretariat

Accelerating gender equality requires innovation, financing, and collective action. This year, we will build upon the momentum of last November’s global launch of the WE Finance Code in Marrakech, which culminated in a joint statement of support endorsed by the presidents of six MDBs, calling for collective action to drive systemic change in the financial ecosystem. This incredible momentum was carried on in the Dominican Republic and Indonesia, the first two countries to launch the Code at national levels. This spring, 24 more countries are expected to launch their own national WE Finance Codes with the support of We-Fi Implementing Partners. We will celebrate the launch of these national pilots next month on the sidelines of CSW68 at the UN, and I hope you will join us in New York.

To foster learning and collaboration, we are doubling down on our knowledge agenda and working with partners on new research products and webinars to engage our network on topics critical to the success and empowerment of women entrepreneurs, from climate financing and the care economy to performance-based incentives. Your insights and expertise are invaluable to these discussions; please visit We-Fi’s new Events page to stay updated on our latest webinars.

But our work doesn’t stop there. With over 300 partners from both the public and private sectors, We-Fi has tackled legal, cultural, and social barriers that disproportionately affect women entrepreneurs. Bolstered by We-Fi’s engagement and support, our partner countries have passed 42 legal and regulatory reforms to facilitate more equitable opportunities for women across commercial sectors. The forthcoming Women, Business and the Law report, to be launched in March, details some of these reforms.

Advancing women’s economic participation requires champions and advocates at every level. By coming together, we can amplify our impact, share best practices, and drive meaningful change. Your voice, expertise, and commitment can help us create a more inclusive and equitable world. I invite you to become a part of this vital movement, and please stay tuned as we introduce a new strategy to engage women as leaders.