IFC, Ant Financial Services Group and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Launch First Internet-based Gender-Finance Program in China to Boost Women Entrepreneurship
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Ant Financial Services Group, and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women have jointly launched the first internet-based gender-finance program in China as part of a strategic partnership that is expected to expand financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs to help them grow their online businesses.
IFC – through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women/IFC Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility, the first-ever global financing facility for women-owned small and medium enterprises - is providing Ant Financial’s microcredit arm Ant Credit a senior loan of RMB500 million. The financing will be used for Ant Credit to expand its lending to women entrepreneurs who often face difficulties in obtaining loans in China. Many of Ant Credit’s clients are women who run businesses on Alibaba Group’s online marketplaces such as Taobao.com and Tmall.com.
“Women are crucial to China’s economic development. They have proven to be trustworthy and passionate entrepreneurs,” said Lucy Peng, CEO of Ant Financial Services Group “We have seen multiple successful stories of women entrepreneurs on our platforms and would like to support them by providing the resources they need to grow their business. By collaborating with IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, we are able to expand our services to more women, empowering them to pursue their career goals and reach their potential.”
Ant Credit, the business division of Ant Financial that provides micro online loans to small businesses and individual entrepreneurs, evaluates potential borrowers’ creditworthiness based on their transactional and behavioral data as they do business online. This technology allows Ant Financial to lend without taking securities and assets such as buildings or inventories as guarantees for loans, thereby lowering the threshold for loan disbursements and providing financing to clients who previously stood no chance of obtaining loans.
“Internet technologies can simplify lending procedures and make loans more accessible and affordable for smaller businesses,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC’s Executive Vice President and CEO. “Expanding such financing is critical to achieving the World Bank Group’s goal of universal access to financial services by 2020.”
The latest financing followed IFC’s RMB 1 billion senior loan to Ant Credit last year to improve access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises in China, which marked IFC’s first foray into the country’s burgeoning Internet finance sector. Both loans support IFC’s goals of expanding microfinance and women finance in emerging markets. Ant Financial and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women are equally dedicated to helping small businesses.
“Through the results we have seen from our 10,000 Women program it is clear that empowering and investing in women leads to global growth and prosperous societies”, said John F.W. Rogers, Chairman of the Goldman Sachs Foundation. “Together with our partners we are creating even more opportunities for entrepreneurs and making progress in addressing one of the major obstacles for women-owned small businesses by providing the access to capital they need to thrive and grow.”
As of March 31st 2014, Ant Credit had loaned RMB190 billion for more than 700,000 small and micro-businesses.
Yu Shengfa, Vice President of Ant Financial Services Group added: “This partnership will enable us to tap the expertise and resources of IFC and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women as we continue to work for Chinese micro, small and medium enterprises to help them focus on building their businesses and create jobs.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in about 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. In FY14, we provided more than $22 billion in financing to improve lives in developing countries and tackle the most urgent challenges of development. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Ant Financial Services Group
Formally established in October 2014, Ant Financial Services Group, is focused on serving small and micro enterprises as well as consumers. With the vision “to turn trust into wealth,” Ant Financial is dedicated to building an open ecosystem of Internet thinking and technologies while working with other financial institutions to support the future financial needs of society. Businesses operated by Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Alipay Wallet, Yu’e Bao, Zhao Cai Bao and Ant Credit.
About Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative is a campaign to foster greater shared economic growth by providing 10,000 underserved women around the world with a business and management education and access to mentoring and networking. The initiative has reached women from across 43 countries through a network of 90 academic and nonprofit partners. To date, over 2,200 women entrepreneurs from China’s 31 provinces have graduated from 10,000 Women.
In 2014, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women and IFC launched the first-ever global finance facility for women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase access to capital for women entrepreneurs and spur lending in developing countries. The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF) is seeded by The Goldman Sachs Foundation and IFC, and will raise up to $600 million in capital through investments from additional public and private co-investors to enable approximately 100,000 women entrepreneurs to access capital.
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