Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires the active participation of women, including those working in the private sector. The good news is that female entrepreneurship is on the rise globally, with women-owned businesses contributing to the global economy. But with only ten years left to meeting Agenda 2030 targets, the full potential of women-led businesses has yet to be unleashed. If women had the same lifetime earnings as men, global wealth could increase by $160 trillion—an average of $23,620 per person—in 141 countries studied by the World Bank. However while they create new businesses, disrupt established industries and develop innovative platforms at a record pace, women entrepreneurs still have less access to finance than their male counterparts: 80% of women-owned businesses with credit needs are either unserved or underserved.
- What policies are needed at the European and international level to make a stronger link between women-led businesses and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals?
- What are public and private financial institutions doing to support women entrepreneurs so that they can achieve their full potential and make a lasting difference to the national – and global – economy?
- How can women entrepreneurs, especially those in more marginalised communities, convince still-sceptical banks and other potential investors, of the commercial value of their enterprises?
This debate is part of our horizontal theme ‘Investing in the future’ through which we look at investment’s role in forging the way for a better future and identify areas where more is needed.
Senior Officer Lending Operations Central and South East Europe Department, Banks Division at the European Investment Bank (EIB), Luxembourg
Founder and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) and Senior Advisor at CEPS
Partner at Aykut Investments, Turkey
Managing Partner of the Financial Advisory (FA) practice at Deloitte Belgium
President of Kesennuma Knitting, Japan
Director for Research, Partnerships & Events at the Policy Center for the New South, Morocco
Krystel Sil Sikana
Chief Executive Officer of cube4steam