Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative

Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative


  • Project-Specific Cofinancing $23.1 million


  • Project-Specific Cofinancing $335,000

The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), launched in 2017, is designed to support women entrepreneurs to access financing, skills, and opportunities in developing countries. With funding from 14 governments, We-Fi works with six multilateral development banks as implementing partners: ADB, the African Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the World Bank Group.

We-Fi has been an essential catalytic source of innovative financing, enabling ADB to push for more ambitious programming for women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises. ADB has been successful in three rounds of funding, with grants dedicated to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, and the Pacific. ADB has already overachieved its targets for Sri Lanka, with over 600 women entrepreneurs accessing finance by mid-2022. In Viet Nam, new blended finance transactions have supported women entrepreneurs during the pandemic. The Women Finance Exchange, a new innovative ADB platform aiming to provide digital solutions to financial institutions and women clients, was launched with the support of We-Fi in 2021.


Sovereign Cofinancing. In 2023, We-Fi committed almost $340,000 to support the implementation of a proposed ensuing project in Sri Lanka that will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The proposed ensuing project aims to enhance SMEs’ access to finance and strengthen their capacity to adapt their business models to external changes, including those caused by climate change.

Also, in 2023, ADB was successful in its proposal to pilot the WE Finance Code project in Fiji, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. We-Fi will fund the pilot project with $3 million to support ADB’s ongoing efforts for women entrepreneurs.


Standard Post with Image

11 Jan 2022

ADB, TPB Sign $25 Million Loan to Finance Women-Led SMEs in Viet Nam

ADB signed a $25 million loan with Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank to expand access to finance of women-owned and -led small and medium-sized enterprises in Viet Nam. The DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH also cofinanced the project for $25 million.


    Standard Post with Image

    Access to Credit Empowers Sri Lankan Women

    Under ADB’s Sri Lanka: Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit Project, women in Sri Lanka now find it easier to borrow capital from banks. The project is supported by the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative grant and the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (formerly Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction).

    Standard Post with Image

    Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka

    In Sri Lanka, women’s ownership of formal small and medium-sized enterprises is low. ADB and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative have been supporting the Government of Sri Lanka in promoting women’s entrepreneurship through the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit project.

    Project Map