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IFC Supports Itaú Unibanco Strengthen its Commitment to Women's Entrepreneurship

Supported by a partnership between Itaú and IFC, more than 23,000 women entrepreneurs have taken part in the development journey proposed by the Itaú Mulher Empreendedora program in the last five years.
São Paulo, November 21, 2019 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Itaú Unibanco, one of the largest private financial institutions in Brazil, have for the third time renewed their partnership that provides strategic, technical and financial contributions to the strengthening of the Itaú Mulher Empreendedora (or Women Entrepreneurs, in a free translation) program.
The Itaú Mulher Empreendedora program is in line with the eight Positive Impact Commitments assumed this year by Itaú, which involve several areas and businesses at the bank. The program meets the bank's commitment to Inclusion and Entrepreneurship, which aims to increase financial inclusion for micro and small entrepreneurs through products and services and help them improve the financial management of their businesses.
“We understand entrepreneurship can positively transform the society; women, being half of our population, have a fundamental role in this transformation. Our goal is to encourage women to take greater participation in business and in the economy, supporting the growth and improvement of their businesses as well as their relationship with the financial system,” says Luciana Nicola, head of Institutional Relations, Sustainability and Inclusive Business at Itaú Unibanco.
Since the launch of the Itaú Mulher Empreendedora program in 2014, IFC has contributed with technical and financial resources, rolled out solutions and surveys and monitored development indicators of the program. In this period, more than 23,000 women entrepreneurs joined the program, having access to online content, with business management articles covering topics such as marketing, finance, sales, people management, trends and inspiring stories, in addition to 85 activities such as workshops, lectures and acceleration programs.
“Gender equality is at the center of Brazil's development agenda; increasing access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses owned by women is an important part of IFC's strategy to expand inclusion and economic opportunities in the country,” says Rogério Santos, IFC’s head of Financial Institutions for Brazil and the Southern Cone.
In 2013, IFC granted Itaú $1 billion in the first loan in Latin America from its IFC Banking on Women program, which provides funding and expertise to financial institutions to support women who own small and medium-sized businesses.  
IFC's technical advisory for Itaú is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility (WEOF), a partnership between IFC, through the IFC Banking on Women program, and Goldman Sach's 10,000 Women Initiative. The WEOF is an unprecedented program dedicated to expanding access to capital for 100,000 women entrepreneurs worldwide. Since its launch in 2010, IFC Banking on Women Program has committed to 81 investments worldwide worth $ 2.45 billion and has advised more than 50 projects in 32 countries. Of this total, the WEOF has put in more than $ 1.45 billion in commitments to financial institutions in 33 countries.
About Itaú Mulher Empreendedora
Itaú Mulher Empreendedora supports women through training, inspiration and connections. Today, the program has participants from five regions of the country and offers free videos, articles and tools on its website dedicated to various topics, such as management, finance, marketing, innovation and news, as well as inspiring stories that reveal the motivations, the challenges and best practices for women at the head of their businesses. The bank also runs exclusive activities for clients, such as workshops, lectures and an acceleration program. Please go to:
About Positive Impact Commitments
In September, Itaú Unibanco strengthened its sustainability stance by publicly assuming eight Positive Impact Commitments, with 41 goals and indicators aligned with business challenges and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. For more information about the Commitments, please go to:
About Itaú Unibanco
Itaú Unibanco is the largest private financial institution in Brazil and one of the largest in the world, with assets of more than R$ 1.6 trillion in June 2019.With approximately 98,400 employees, it has approximately 4,700 branches in Brazil and a significant presence in Latin America, as well as being present in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Through a segmented business strategy, Itaú Unibanco operates prominently in Brazil and abroad, participating in every area of economic activity. It enjoys leadership in several segments of the sector, being recognized for its history, financial strength and performance. It went public in 1944 and is listed on the B3 exchange in Brazil and the New York Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of R$ 260.6 billion on June 30, 2018.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit .
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