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Set-up Credit Guarantee Fund under BRICS to provide financial support to women entrepreneurs: BRICS Women's Business Alliance Annual Report 2021 

Sep 11, 2021

  • Promote investments in climate smart agri tech to help farmers to prevent burden of climate change

  • Set-up a BRICS Venture Fund for Women Run Digital Companies under the aegis of New Development Bank

NEW DELHI, 11 September 2021: BRICS Women's Business Alliance Annual Report 2021, released earlier this week highlights key areas to increase women participation in the economy. These areas include Inclusive economy; Healthcare; Innovative Development; Food security and Environmental Safety; Creative Industries and Tourism; Public Policy.

The BRICS Women's Business Alliance (BRICS WBA) officially launched its activities in July 2020 under Russian BRICS Chairmanship with the objective of offering a platform to promote women's economic participation and empowerment by unlocking business opportunities for women entrepreneurs in BRICS countries. BRICS WBA comprises 25 Women Leaders, 5 each nominated from BRICS countries.

Key highlights of the Report:

First: Access to credit is a major pain point for women entrepreneurs. Setting up of a Credit Guarantee Fund under the aegis of BRICS with the objective to provide a corpus for agile, tech savvy financial institutions, to enable them to structure new products focused on women entrepreneurs particularly in rural areas.

Second: Access to credit is related to financial literacy. A financial literacy virtual tool kit is being created, designed for NGOs, SHGs and social change agents to train rural women and small entrepreneurs to help them strengthen their business management, capability and growth.

Third: Importance of Care Economy has increased manifold in the aftermath of COVID pandemic. The sector, given its dominance by women, is an important area of collaboration amongst BRICS especially through knowledge sharing of best practices for care work - including technological and digital solutions, training and upskilling, labour regulations and harmonization and recognition of degrees and diplomas.

Fourth: The pandemic brought 'Healthcare' at the center-stage. Deepening BRICS collaboration for digital transformation of the entire healthcare ecosystem as well as focus on point of care and remote care through enhanced usage of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Big Data, as well as establishing Command-Centres, towards patient centered healthcare delivery have been captured.

Fifth: Promote investments in climate smart agriculture technologies, set research priorities and develop efficient extension services for adoption of agronomic practices that can empower farmers to prevent the burden of climate change impact. Future research to mitigate climate change impact and adapt to low-carbon and low-water regimes.

Sixth: Set-up a BRICS Venture Fund for Women Run Digital Companies under the aegis of New Development Bank. Currently, many women in the process of driving innovation do not receive funding because of limited access and collateral.

Within the Alliance, five key areas of focus include inclusive economy, healthcare, innovative development, food security & environmental safety and creative industries & tourism.

Amongst other areas, BRICS Women's Business Alliance is also discussing 'BRICS Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution and BRICS Energy Initiative' for improving participation of women led businesses across the Energy Value Chain.  Further, a digital knowledge centre for women entrepreneurs is being planned.

According to the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt, closing the global gender gap has increased by a generation from 99.5 years to 135.6 years. This means that we need to work harder as the challenge facing us is enormous.

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