WASHINGTON -- The Global Banking Alliance for Women, a consortium of leading financial institutions driving women's business growth globally, is convening over 40 organizations here this week at the GBA for Women's 10th Anniversary Summit, hosted by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and a GBA for Women member. Business heads, innovators and women's advocates will identify what financial institutions can do to provide women's businesses with the access to capital, networks and business skills that are crucial to economic growth and jobs creation.
Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, the U.S. State Department; Cherie Blair, Founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, and bank CEOs and decision makers from regions around the world, will participate in the industry's high-profile exchange of best practices for profitably enabling growth among small and medium women-owned enterprises (SMEs).
"Global Banking Alliance for Women members realize the very real economic and reputational benefits of banking women's businesses," said Larke Riemer, Chair of the Global Banking Alliance for Women and National Head of Women's Markets for the Westpac Banking Corporation in Australia, a co-founder of the GBA for Women.
"The GBA for Women is a unique business model enabling financial institutions from developed and developing countries alike to accelerate their banking, lending and training programs for women's businesses," said Teri Cavanagh, GBA for Women executive director and co-founder. "Rather than compete against each other, our members collaborate – via our web network, face to face meetings, and annual Summit."
Women are critical to the recovery of the global economy: research shows that women's business owners hire more women than men business owners, thereby helping to shrink the global gender gap in employment and compensation.
"The continued need for sustained and more equitable growth worldwide means that increasing opportunities for women in business is now more important than ever," said Rachel Kyte, IFC Vice President for Business Advisory Services. "When businesswomen thrive, they create jobs, often for other women. No country can afford not to harness their power."
The GBA for Women is a global organization whose mission is to accelerate the growth of women in business and women's wealth creation, while generating superior business outcomes for member financial institutions.