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Washington D.C./New York, April 9, 2024 – The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), housed in the World Bank, is proud to announce that UN Women has become a global signatory of the WE Finance Code, a trailblazing initiative aimed at driving systemic change within the financial ecosystem to bridge the gender finance gap.

Women entrepreneurs face significant obstacles to realize their full potential. It is estimated that 400 million women entrepreneurs around the world have $1.7 trillion in unmet financing needs. Decision makers in both public and private sector must work together to systematically address the complex challenges leading to these gaps and to significantly accelerate funding to women entrepreneurs.

The WE Finance Code (the Code), coordinated by We-Fi, is a global multi-stakeholder approach that drives commitment and actionable change towards gender-inclusive financing. It offers a comprehensive framework for financial institutions and stakeholders, guiding them towards practices that enhance access to finance, resources, and support for women-led businesses in developing countries. Together with its multilateral development bank (MDB) partners, We-Fi is introducing the Code in 24 countries, with the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Fiji, and Mozambique having launched their national Codes in recent months.

By becoming a global signatory, UN Women aims to contribute to the shared mission to transform financial systems to be more inclusive by providing leadership, improving data, and taking actions. This move signals a strong commitment from UN Women to advance gender equality in the financial sector, echoing the core missions of both We-Fi and UN Women to dismantle systemic barriers and create equitable opportunities.

“As UN Women, we are proud to join the Code – this transformative initiative perfectly complements our global actions supporting women entrepreneurs, advocating for their rights, and striving for an equitable future where every woman and girl can fulfill their potential. Our commitment to closing the gap in investing in women’s entrepreneurship remains unwavering.” – said Sima Bahous, Executive-Director of UN Women at an event highlighting the Code during the 68th annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW68).

UN Women joining the WE Finance Code marks a significant advance in the movement towards gender equality in the financial ecosystem. As global signatories, organizations are dedicating senior leaders to champion efforts supporting women-led businesses, committing to the expansion and utilization of sex-disaggregated data, and introducing supportive measures for women entrepreneurs.

The accelerating momentum behind the WE Finance Code is broadening its impact on women entrepreneurs and the financial sector at large. This movement is a testament to the shared ethos of innovation and collaboration essential for accelerating gender equality and building an inclusive and prosperous future for all.

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