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7 facts about the women entrepreneurs finance initiative

The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) represents a significant milestone in Egypt’s journey toward economic empowerment for women.
© Egypt Business Directory

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has recently taken a significant step toward promoting women's financial inclusion and economic empowerment by signing the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Code of Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi). Here are seven essential facts about this groundbreaking initiative:

1. Objective of We-Fi

The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) aims to enhance access to finance for women-led micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It also provides essential technical support to these enterprises, facilitating their growth and sustainability. This initiative is designed to bridge the gender financing gap and empower women entrepreneurs in the financial sector.

2. Key Figures Involved

The agreement was signed by CBE Governor Hassan Abdalla, with the presence of notable figures such as Jürgen Rigterink, First Vice President of the EBRD, and Matteo Patrone, EBRD’s Vice President for Banking. Their involvement underscores the high-level commitment to advancing women's financial inclusion in Egypt.

3. Alignment with National Goals

We-Fi aligns with Egypt’s national vision to promote women's financial inclusion. It complements the state's efforts to empower women economically by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed in business. This initiative is a testament to the country's dedication to fostering an inclusive financial environment.

4. Significant Growth in Financial Inclusion

The CBE's efforts have already resulted in a substantial increase in women's financial inclusion. From 2016 to 2023, the number of financially included women in Egypt grew by 244%, reaching 20.3 million. This remarkable growth highlights the effectiveness of ongoing initiatives and the potential impact of We-Fi.

5. Global Partnership

We-Fi is a global initiative hosted by the World Bank Group, involving 14 governments, eight multilateral development banks (MDBs), and numerous public and private sector stakeholders. This wide-ranging partnership ensures a robust support network and a wealth of resources to aid women entrepreneurs.

6. Technical Support and Capacity Building

The initiative will provide technical support to enhance the capacities of the Egyptian banking sector, financial service providers, and relevant entities. This will be done in coordination with the Egyptian Banking Institution (EBI), banks, and other state bodies. The goal is to build a more inclusive financial ecosystem that can better serve women entrepreneurs.

7. Regional Implementation

Apart from Egypt, We-Fi is also being implemented in Morocco and Jordan. This regional approach allows for the sharing of best practices and collaborative efforts to support women entrepreneurs across the Arab world. The success of We-Fi in these countries can serve as a model for other nations aiming to improve gender parity in finance.


The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) represents a significant milestone in Egypt’s journey toward economic empowerment for women. By facilitating access to finance and providing critical technical support, this initiative not only supports women-led businesses but also contributes to broader economic growth and development. With the backing of global partnerships and national commitment, We-Fi is set to make a lasting impact on women's financial inclusion in Egypt and beyond.