March 11, 2021

America supports businesswomen worldwide

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Ariunaa Byambakhuu began knitting as a teenager in Mongolia and by 2005 founded Goyol Cashmere. The business in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar started with just five employees, but Byambakhuu now employs 100 workers, 80% of them women.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) supported Goyol with a $5 million loan in 2020, advancing its 2X Women’s Initiative to economically empower women worldwide. The loan will help Byambakhuu, who provides housing and child care for working mothers on staff, to build a new factory, buy equipment and expand production.

By bringing U.S. private sector investment to emerging markets, DFC enables entrepreneurs around the world to grow their companies without ensnaring countries in unsustainable state-directed debt.

DFC investment is empowering women around the world, which includes helping women in India to buy homes. (Courtesy of DFC/Aviom India Housing Finance Pvt Ltd.)

Through its 2X Women’s Initiative, DFC has catalyzed more than $7 billion in private sector investment in projects that economically empower women in developing countries — which includes expanding access to financing for women entrepreneurs.

What does this access to financing look like?

Chef Talita Setyadi at an international pastry contest in Lyon, France, in 2017 (© Robert Szaniszló/NurPhoto/Getty Images
  • Through the 2X Women’s Initiative, DFC is helping women-run businesses provide vital services worldwide, from housing in India to clean water in El Salvador.
  • Aviom, a mortgage lender in India, provided loans to help 1,200 women buy homes, thanks in part to a $5.5 million loan issued in 2019. Aviom has also created employment opportunities for 13,000 women and plans to add 10,000 more.
  • In Chad, a $10 million DFC loan helps FinLux Ellen Sarl distribute solar panels to health care centers, schools and businesses that are not connected to a power grid. FinLux’s staff is majority female.
  • In Kenya, DFC enabled an early-stage company, Twiga Foods, to expand its fresh-produce distribution business with a $5 million loan. The company connects rural farmers with urban food vendors, the majority of which are women.
  • In El Salvador, a $4 million DFC loan supports Azure Source Capital and helps small cities invest in water pumps and storage tanks. The result: an improved water supply for 300,000 people.

For Talita Setyadi, a 2021 loan from DFC and the U.S.-based lender Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) provided in 2021 helps her bakery in Jakarta, Indonesia, avoid layoffs and expand, despite limits on indoor dining to fight COVID-19.

“We are facing unprecedented challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic,” Setyadi said. “The loan will enable BEAU Bakery to survive, regain our footing and continue to deliver to local communities through this crisis.”

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