USAID Administrator Mark Green and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump Announce the Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative Fund's Increase to $100 Million in its first year and Launch of New Partnerships

For Immediate Release

Monday, November 18, 2019
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

 
Today, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator (USAID) Mark Green and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump announced that the Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative Fund received an additional $50 million in fiscal year (FY) 2018 resources, increasing the Fund to a total of $100 million for its first year. The President requested $100 million for the Fund in the most recent Budget for FY 2020, consistent with his commitment in National Security Presidential Memorandum-16 (which established W-GDP), to prioritize the Fund within the President's Budget and appropriated resources.

The White House launched the W-GDP Initiative in February 2019 as the first whole-of-government effort to advance global women's economic empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. Government activities, public-private partnerships, and a new, innovative fund, managed by USAID.

Today Administrator Green and Advisor Trump launched new partnerships and activities to support the three pillars of W-GDP: women prospering in the workforce, women succeeding as entrepreneurs, and women enabled in the economy. The W-GDP Fund financed these activities and partnerships from the $100 million in resources available from FY 2018. The featured activities include:

  • An additional $2 million for the second round of W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge grants. Each of the three winners will use digital innovations to support one of the three W-GDP Pillars. The WomenConnect Challenge is a global call for solutions to bridge the gender digital divide so that women can fully participate in the global economy, and the first two rounds have invested over $3.5 million from the W-GDP Fund.
  • Over $1.5 million for a collaboration with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), Visa Foundation, and USAID to implement the Advancing Women's Empowerment Fund, a catalyst fund in Southand Southeast Asia that will help close the financing gap for women-led businesses. The W-GDP Fund invested just over $600,000 while the Visa Foundation added $1 million to the initiative. This new catalyst fund will provide support to women entrepreneurs to fund more companies, build their capacity, and connect them with appropriate sources of capital to help them scale their businesses.
  • Nearly $1 million for a collaboration between the Peace Corps and USAID to promote women's digital and financial literacy. USAID will help to create materials, resources, and programming for use by Peace Corps Volunteers to provide training to women in digital and financial literacy skills that foster economic empowerment. To scale the work, Peace Corps will hold regional summits for trainers who can then introduce these skills training programs around the world.
  • $800,000 partnership, implemented by Palladium, to expand the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative in Colombia that will facilitate a new type of financial product that catalyzes private sector investment into early-stage, women-led businesses. It also bundles the financial product with specialized business development services, including training, group workshops, and individual consulting.

More than 250 leaders from USAID's many partners, stakeholders and colleagues attended the event, including representatives from the U.S. Government, current and prospective implementing partners, private sector partners, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, academia, and think tanks. The event marked the end of the first day of the inaugural USAID "Breaking Gender Barriers: Taking USAID Programming to the Next Level" Conference on November 18-21.

In July 2019, W-GDP announced the first round of Incentive Fund awardees -14 new projects amounting to $27 million with more than 200 public- and private-sector partners across 22 countries. The White House-led W-GDP Working Group is comprised of ten U.S. Government agencies and departments that are working to achieve the goals and objectives of the Initiative: the U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Treasury, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Labor, Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S. Peace Corps, U.S. African Development Foundation, Inter-American Foundation, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (soon to be part of the new U.S. International Development Finance Corporation), as well as White House offices and components, including the U.S. Trade Representative and Office of Management and Budget.

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Last updated: November 20, 2019

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