To honor the action-oriented spirit of Power Shift, I have invited members of that community to submit guest posts reporting their progress during the past 12 months. This post comes from Noa Meyer, Managing Director and Global Head of 10,000 Women, Goldman Sachs.
Noa Meyer heads up Goldman Sachs’ global women’s empowerment program, called “10,000 Women.” Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Noa worked at USAID and the George Soros Open Society Institute.
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative recently reached a significant milestone at the end of 2013 when the 10,000th woman enrolled. 10,000 Women has worked with 90 academic and nonprofit partners to provide high potential women entrepreneurs from around the world with business and management education, mentoring, and networking. The University of Oxford was one of the initiative’s first partners and in addition to helping to launch two 10,000 Women programs in China, the University has made significant contributions to the global 10,000 Women model.
Over the last six years, thanks to the dedication of the University of Oxford and all our partners, 10,000 Women has demonstrated the critical role of education in helping women entrepreneurs scale their businesses. 10,000 Women graduates report immediate and sustained business growth. Thirty months after completing the program, 82% of surveyed graduates increased their revenue and 71% added new jobs. On average, graduates doubled the size of their workforces and revenues increased nearly fivefold.
10,000 Women graduates have demonstrated that they use their new skills and knowledge to grow their businesses, but it is just the beginning. In order for women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to reach their full potential, they need capital.
Goldman Sachs recently released new research, Giving Credit Where It Is Due, which demonstrates increasing female access to capital can have a tangible impact on per capita income, particularly in developing and emerging markets. According to the report, if the estimated $285 billion credit gap for women is closed by 2020, by 2030 incomes per capita could be on average around 12% higher across the BRICs and Next 11 countries. This gain could be as large as 25-28% for Brazil and Vietnam, where the credit gaps in the formal SME sectors are currently widest.
In March, 10,000 Women announced a new partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, which will aim to spur lending to women in developing countries through the first-ever global finance facility for women-owned SMEs. The Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility will be seeded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation and IFC, and will raise up to $600 million in capital through investments from additional public and private co-investors to enable approximately 100,000 women entrepreneurs to access capital.
Women-owned SMEs have long been overlooked by local financial institutions and global investors. The 2014 Oxford Power Shift Forum, which is focused on women and finance, will elevate this important topic and further demonstrate what powerful investments women are.
Noa Meyer, Managing Director and Global Head of 10,000 Women, Goldman Sachs, Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Noa held several positions in the Clinton Administration, first in the speechwriting office of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and then at the United States Agency for International Development. Her prior nonprofit experience includes launching Revenue Watch at George Soros’s Open Society Institute, and developing a program focused on supporting information technology for poverty reduction in developing countries at the Markle Foundation. Noa has worked on two presidential campaigns and one prime ministerial campaign in Israel. Noa is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations and an advisor at the Clinton Global Initiative.