Financial Wellness Initiatives ( Women )
Under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, a new partnership between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Reliance Foundation aims to bridge the gender digital divide in India.
The partnership was announced at a W-GDP event on Tuesday, hosted by Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Biegun and with special guest, Ivanka Trump, Advisor
to the President of the United States, and Deputy USAID Administrator Bonnie Glick. The event was live streamed at www.state.gov.
Trump said, “The W-GDP Fund was created to source and scale the most innovative programs to advance women’s economic empowerment. We are leveraging the resources and expertise of the US government and the private sector so that activities have enduring, deep effects on the communities they reach.”
John Barsa, Acting Administrator, USAID, said, “Global prosperity will remain out of reach if we exclude half the population. At USAID, we believe investment in women is key to unlocking human potential on a transformational scale. The W-GDP Fund at USAID is financing innovative solutions to close the economic gap between women and men and help our partners advance on their Journeys to SelfReliance.”
At the event, through a virtual video message, Nita M Ambani, founder and chairperson, Reliance Foundation, said, “I am delighted and proud to announce that Reliance Foundation is joining forces with W-GDP, through our partnership with USAID. Together, we shall launch the W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge across India, in the autumn of 2020. At the heart of this partnership, is our shared goal to help bridge both the gender divide and the digital divide in India.”
The W-GDP Women’s Connect Challenge (WCC) supports private sector-led approaches that seek to close the gender digital divide, expand business opportunities, and empower women. As part of the programme, W-GDP will partner with the Reliance Foundation to create an India-specific expression of the WCC and incorporate the lessons of previous W-GDP WCC Rounds.
In 2016, Reliance launched Jio, which is now the largest digital services company in India, and the second largest in the world. In February 2019, the White House established the W-GDP Initiative, the first whole-of-government approach to women’s economic empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025.
Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Fund Announces $122 Million in Progress and Partnerships
Launched in February 2019, the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative is the first-ever 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 focusing on three pillars: women prospering in the workforce, women succeeding as entrepreneurs, and women enabled in the economy. In its first year, W-GDP reached 12 million women through a series of U.S. government activities, public-private partnerships, and the innovative W-GDP Fund.
NEW W-GDP Fund Programs and Partnerships Announced:
In August 2020, Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump and USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, joined by Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, National Security Advisor Ambassador Robert O’Brien and Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Kelley Currie, announced $122 million in W-GDP Fund progress and partnerships. Highlights include:
$34.6 million: W-GDP Incentive Fund
Invests in promising and creative partnerships globally with the private sector, locally-led organizations, U.S. government partners, and local host governments, with a focus on W-GDP Pillar Three. This round of the W-GDP Incentive Fund supports 16 awardees in 43 countries.
$23 million: W-GDP Invest in Women Portfolio
Promotes systemic reforms in financial systems to unblock access to finance for women and assist in reducing barriers that keep private capital from participating in blended capital solutions. Works with leading partners such as Care, Deloitte, Kiva, and others to overcome obstacles to grow women-owned businesses, and supports activities that mobilize and encourage private sector investment in women through innovative market-based approaches.
$10 million: W-GDP New Partnerships Initiative
Increases women’s economic empowerment in conflict prevention and recovery activities focused on issues such as at-risk and marginalized women, in Guatemala, Mexico, Honduras, and the Philippines. Recovery activities will include job creation, workforce and vocational training, innovative financial tools, and access to capital, with a focus on working with new or under-utilized partners.
$7.4 million: W-GDP Interagency Fund
Enables Interagency partners to promote women’s economic empowerment through programs highlighting their strengths and expertise:
- Millennium Challenge Corporation: establishes a women’s data lab in Côte d’Ivoire to support women entrepreneurs with technology, training and assistance in growing their companies;
- Peace Corps: deploys basic digital literacy training to close the digital gender divide around the world; and
- Department of State, Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues: brings together women’s coalitions from Central Asia to remove restrictions on women’s economic empowerment through Women’s National Business Agendas
$7 million: W-GDP Women’s Land Rights
Strengthens women’s land rights in contexts where customary systems predominate and disadvantage women in Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, Zambia and India. Effortswill include activities to strengthen and support national and community legal and land resource governance reforms around women’s land rights
$5 million: Women’s Economic Empowerment Global Development Alliance with USAID and PepsiCo
Builds upon a five-year, shared-value partnership that focuses on developing and demonstrating the business case for private sector investments in women’s empowerment in agriculture supply chains. This work will provide women with technical and leadership skills, strengthened land rights, and income generation opportunities, while simultaneously building the capacity of local PepsiCo staff to more directly include and work with women in their supply chain.
$5 million: W-GDP Grand Challenge: Women Enabled in the Economy
Addresses the problem of women’s access to commercial finance, which is often restricted by barriers in laws, regulations, policies, and practices. This multi-year challenge is designed to break these barriers and facilitate women’s access to commercial finance
$5 million: W-GDP Microsoft Women’s Digital Inclusion Partnership
Supports Microsoft’s Airband Initiative, which aims to significantly increase the number of women around the world with internet coverage by July 2022, by investing in locally-owned and operated internet and communications technology companies serving rural areas in Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, India, and Kenya.
$4 million: W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge (WCC) Round Three
Supports private sector-led approaches that close the gender digital divide, expands business opportunities, and empowers women to reach their full economic potential in an increasingly digital world. The next round of the W-GDP WCC will focus on increasing private sector and donor investment in programs that have a target reach of one million women. W-GDP will also partner with the Reliance Foundation to create an India-specific Women Connect Challenge and incorporate the lessons of previous W-GDP WCC Rounds.
$3.6 million: WEConnect International
Establishes an alliance with SAP Ariba, IBM, ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble, and Accenture to develop the WECommunity, a multifunctional and multilingual global online platform to help women-owned businesses connect with participating multinational corporate buyers.
$3.3 million: W-GDP Mastercard Partnership
The W-GDP Mastercard Start Path Project Partnership improves women entrepreneurs’ access to grow and scale their businesses in Colombia. The W-GDP Mastercard Micro Credit Program Partnership will empower small-scale retailers run by women in India to prosper and become part of the digital economy that will help them and their communities gain access to training and financial services.
$3 million: Engendering Utilities
Scales the Engendering Utilities program to partner with new companies, continue support to existing partners, and expands to new traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as the water sector, to create tangible economic opportunities for women, including jobs, promotions, and career development.
$3 million: Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and Visa Foundation — Innovation Grant Making
Scales globally the Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund, a catalyst fund that originated in South and Southeast Asia to help close the financing gap for women-led businesses. The partnership includes a $1 million investment by the Visa Foundation and will provide support to women entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses.
$2 million: Self-Empowerment and Equity for Change Initiative
In partnership with Johns Hopkins University, this initiative scales proven empowerment training with women entrepreneurs and employees to strengthen core skills that advance their own professional goals and provides access to resources and opportunities with companies around the world.
$2 million: Women Empowered in Recycling and Waste Management
Supports women working throughout the waste recycling value chain — from waste collectors to women business leaders — to strengthen women’s economic empowerment throughout USAID’s global flagship program to combat ocean plastic pollution.
$1.5 million: Women Powering Africa
Scales women’s economic empowerment through the expansion of the Women in African Power network, which provides women professional advancement through networking events and skills development training including internships with private sector partners in the energy sector.
$1.4 million: W-GDP Partnership to Train Kenyan Women Entrepreneurs in Collaboration with UPS
Helps women in Kenya launch, fund, or scale their businesses and build their capacity with a focus on training, mentorship, investment, and direct connections to American small and medium-enterprises
$1 Million: Women Entrepreneurs Amplifying Ventures and Economies
Strengthens, scales, and replicates tested models for women’s entrepreneurship development in Indonesia and Vietnam to reach 15,000 women. This innovative, digital, cross border programme builds on successful services created by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women with Qualcomm Wireless Reach™ and the ExxonMobil Foundation.
When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to global peace and stability. In February 2019, President Trump established the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, also led and created by Advisor to the President, Ivanka Trump. This initiative is 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, private-public partnerships, and a new, innovative W-GDP Fund. In its first year, W-GDP reached 12 million women worldwide.
The W-GDP Initiative aims to enhance opportunities for women to participate meaningfully in the economy and advance both prosperity and national security. W-GDP focuses on three pillars: Women Prospering in the Workforce, Women Succeeding as Entrepreneurs, and Women Enabled in the Economy.