Banking on Women Who Trade Across Borders

This report underscores the critical need for gender equality in international trade and trade finance. Despite the documented positive impacts of women-owned businesses on economic growth and poverty reduction, a significant gap remains in understanding how international trade intersects with female participation, particularly in accessing trade finance. Drawing from interviews across Africa and Latin America, the report explores the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs and proposes solutions. 

The report identifies systemic market failures and cultural biases that disproportionately hinder female-led firms' access to trade and supply chain finance. Challenges such as collateral requirements, scale of business activity, and knowledge gaps in trade finance instruments are outlined, showcasing the unique barriers faced by women entrepreneurs. To address these challenges, the report offers strategic solutions, including digitalization of financial instruments, blended finance approaches, and alternative financing mechanisms like supply chain finance. 

Highlighting successful initiatives like the Banking on Women Global Trade Finance Program, the report underscores the potential for meaningful change through collaborative efforts among stakeholders. By implementing the proposed solutions, stakeholders can not only increase access to trade finance for women-led firms but also unlock significant economic potential through international trade, thereby fostering inclusive economic growth.