March 26, 2019
WASHINGTON - The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, today announced that the agency has surpassed initial targets to catalyze $1 billion to global women’s economic empowerment through its 2X Women’s Initiative.
Launched publicly one year ago during Women’s History Month, OPIC’s 2X Women’s Initiative aims to unlock the multi-trillion dollar opportunity women represent by catalyzing investment in projects that support the world’s women. As part of the initiative, OPIC committed to mobilizing $1 billion to business and funds owned by women, managed by women, or providing a product or service that intentionally empowers women.
Since launching 2X, OPIC has also accepted the 2X Challenge alongside peer G7 development finance institutions to collectively catalyze $3 billion to the world’s women.
“The case for investing in women is clear: when we invest in women, we invest in a more prosperous, stable world,” said OPIC Acting President and CEO David Bohigian. “Surpassing $1 billion in capital catalyzed to the world’s women is a proud moment for OPIC, and underscores the agency’s commitment to unlocking the opportunity women represent to scale our impact across the globe. As we celebrate the achievements of 2X to date, we recognize the work left to be done and will continue to advance the Administration’s commitment to global women’s economic empowerment.”
OPIC Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues Kathryn Kaufman has led the 2X initiative since its launch.
“By expanding women’s access to capital, quality employment, and products and services that empower them, we not only improve the lives of women, but also uplift their families, communities, and countries,” said Kaufman. “Through 2X, OPIC has recognized that potential and prioritized the world’s women.”
OPIC’s commitments to women through 2X span more than 40 projects across Africa, Eastern Europe, the Indo-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. Some of these projects include:
- Empowering female farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Financing to help One Acre Fund provide seeds, fertilizer, and training to mostly female smallholder farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Providing microloans to female entrepreneurs in Jordan: A loan to Microfund for Women expanding microcredit to low-income women and supporting female entrepreneurship in Jordan.
- Serving the needs of low-income women in Latin America: Financing to Global Partnerships, which supports social enterprises delivering solutions to challenges faced by the world’s poor, with a special focus on the inclusion of women.
- Supporting a woman-led business in Rwanda: Political risk insurance to support the expansion of Heaven Holdings, a female-led business operating a hotel and restaurant in Rwanda, where tourism and hospitality serve as the principal drivers of economic growth.
- Removing barriers to female economic participation in India: A loan enabling WaterHealth to expand access to affordable clean water in India, where collecting water often limits women’s participation in the formal economy.
- Enhancing women’s income in Kenya: A loan to support Twiga Foods, which supplies fresh produce from Kenyan farmers and delivers it to a mostly female network of urban vendors, helping them increase their sales and profits.
- Financing women-owned SMEs in Paraguay: Financing to Banco Sudameris supporting onlending to SMEs in Paraguay, especially those owned and led by women.
- Creating jobs for women in Mongolia: A loan enabling Goyol Cashmere, a company that is women-owned, women-led, and primarily employs women, to expand its knitwear production business in Mongolia.
- Improving women’s healthcare in India: Financing to Be Well Hospitals to modernize healthcare in rural India, improving the quality of care for women by providing services like labor and delivery care.
- Supporting quality employment for women: A loan that will help FinLux ELLEN Sàrl introduce solar solutions in Chad and provide quality employment for women, who comprise half of the company’s workforce.
OPIC’s 2X Women’s Initiative is a key component of the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative to empower women globally.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.