With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.
From the op-ed:
Last week at the G20 Summit, the World Bank announced the creation of a new $1 billion fund to help support women’s entrepreneurship in developing nations, thanks in part to the work of Ivanka Trump. According to the World Bank, currently 70% of small and medium-sized businesses in developing countries owned by women simply can’t get the financial services to meet their needs, or they are altogether shut out by financial institutions. This fund is a very important step in addressing some of the challenges women in developing nations are up against when starting and growing a business. If it is done right, the fund has the potential to improve the economic outlook for all citizens in these countries.
The fund should be commended for its broad approach to addressing the barriers that women entrepreneurs face. It will include a range of services for women entrepreneurs, including access to loans, insurance, and training. And it will engage government leaders to change policies that make it harder for women to start businesses. These are important ingredients for success.
But in this time of growing inequality and polarization, it is critical for the fund to reach poor women in order to have the needed impact. Women who own small and medium-sized businesses (10-500 employees) are not typically among the poorest segments of the population, and so it is important that the fund makes a concerted effort to reach microentrepreneurs who are the vast majority of women business owners in developing nations. Some microenterprises have significant potential to grow and create jobs, especially if this initiative can help them connect to the supply chains of larger businesses. It is promising that this fund commits to supporting businesses at early stages of growth, which means that it can reach women who own or want to start smaller businesses. But time will tell how much it focuses on poorer women, who often require a grant of seed money, rather than loans. With the right design, the fund could benefit businesses along the spectrum by helping women make the transition from micro to small businesses, and by increasing access to financial and other resources for all women.
Read full op-ed here.
From the article:
A billion-dollar World Bank initiative to advance women’s entrepreneurship, funded in part by Saudi Arabia and championed by Ivanka Trump, might seem a laughably easy target for reproach.
There is Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women — they aren’t even allowed to drive alone — and the growing role of the “first daughter” as a presidential adviser. Then there are President Trump’s misogynistic comments.
But despite the concerns around governance and ethics, the so-called Ivanka fund might be a sign that — despite its “America First” policy — the White House is not as combative toward multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund as many in Washington expected.
“The fact that they were going to the World Bank to begin with shows that they are not completely hostile to the institutions, and it points to more of an open door,” said Scott Morris, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, who served as deputy assistant secretary for development finance and debt at the Treasury Department under President Barack Obama.
“Not just on this one trust fund but the broader relationship is on pretty good footing going forward.”
Read full article here.