General Assembly High-level Side Event: Innovative financing to catalyse women’s entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific

28 Sep 2018
New York, United States of America

Women’s entrepreneurship is being recognised as a key catalyst for advancing women’s economic empowerment. By setting up and managing a business, women are poised to achieve economic independence, overcome extreme poverty, and improve their sustainable well-being as well as that of their families and communities. However, while entrepreneurs in general face considerable barriers, women entrepreneurs face additional disadvantages which hold them back from achieving their full potential. Among these, research consistently points to restricted access to finance.

Importantly, innovative financing mechanisms are emerging in response to such challenges, including impact investment funds, women’s bonds, and FinTech solutions such as alternative credit scoring and crowdfunding mechanisms to increase women’s access to finance.

During the event, a high-level panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges, and the potential for scaling up such action-oriented frameworks for the benefit of women entrepreneurs in Asia and the Pacific. This will be followed by an interactive dialogue with the audience. The event will also be used to launch a new initiative to advance women’s entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific led by ESCAP with support from Global Affairs Canada.

This high level side event will take placed during the General Assembly 2018 session. The event will bring together high-level policy makers from the region, as well as experts from development partners, the private sector and civil society organisations.

The objectives of the event are to:

• Showcase innovative financing approaches to address access to finance barriers facing women entrepreneurs.
• Connect the women’s empowerment, financing, technology, and innovation communities to exchange ideas and best practices.
• Launch a new initiative to advance women’s entrepreneurship in Asia and the Pacific led by ESCAP with support from Global Affairs Canada.