Ivanka Trump driving force behind WB’s $350M fund for women entrepreneurs
By Agence France-Presse
Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter and a White House advisor, on Saturday touted the creation of a new World Bank initiative to foster entrepreneurship among women.
The initiative launched this week, the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative or We-Fi, aims to boost access to capital for businesswomen in the developing world.
“Fully unleashing the power of women in our economy will create tremendous value but also bring much-needed peace, stability and prosperity to many regions,” Trump said during an event at the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Women-owned businesses in the developing world suffer an annual credit deficit of $300 billion, either by being unable to borrow or receiving only high-cost, short-term credit, she noted.
“They say that women invest 90 cents on the dollar back in their family, their family’s education, their family’s health and their community at large,” she said.
Her appearance at an event comes amid strains between the Trump administration and international financial institutions. The United States this week opposed World Bank calls for a capital increase, calling instead for greater efficiency.
The White House this week also rejected IMF conclusions that tax cuts do not pay for themselves and that heavily indebted nations such as United States should pay down sovereign debts.
The Trump administration is currently pushing a tax cut proposal that critics say would balloon the US budget deficit.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Saturday described Ivanka Trump as the “driving force” behind the new initiative, which had received $350 million in donor commitments.
The US itself pledged $50 million to the fund in July but has proposed reducing its commitments to a separate fund that helps the world’s poorest countries by 15 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Ivanka Trump proposed We-Fi at G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where she raised eyebrows by briefly taking her father’s seat at a meeting of world leaders
The initiative is supported by Germany, Russia, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, among other countries.
“You can’t imagine a society that grows if you don’t actually operationalize half the population of that society,” Reem Bint Ebrahim al-Hashimy, the UAE minister for international cooperation, said at the same event.
“We’ve seen primarily that if you provide opportunities for women farmers, for example, you see that go back into the community, into the schools, into their very own ecosystem.”