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Women’s Economic Development

Committed to the core belief that women are central to economic growth, the Women’s Economic Development program partners with governments, nonprofits, and the private sector to create opportunities for women that lead to economic independence.

Since the inception of the program in 2007, over 475,500 women have enrolled in training programs, directly benefiting more than two million people.

Recent News

Partnership with Women for Women International

Since 2008, Bloomberg Philanthropies has worked with the nonprofit Women for Women International to train women in marketable skills so they can increase their incomes and support their families.

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More than 500,000 handmade bricks were made by women in our brickmaking training in Rwanda for the Women’s Opportunity Center. The tiles throughout the Center were handmade by women in the textiles training in Congo. During the development, women enrolled in our construction training program participated in the building and development of the Center. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Felicella/Sharon Davis Design

Partnership with Sustainable Growers

In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with Sustainable Harvest to develop a non for profit training institute for women, small-crop farmers. Now known as Sustainable Growers, it has enrolled over 40,000 women across Rwanda and Congo, and in 2021 will enroll women from three rural cooperatives in Tanzania.

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Before Bloomberg Philanthropies’ investment in training, women would pick cherries off the coffee tree that were not high quality. Less than 2% of their crop could be sold. Once they learned the “Color of Excellence”, worn on a vest or as a bracelet, the quality of their coffee increased by 40%, resulting in a higher yield price on the international market.

Investment in Equal Footing

Since 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported the development of Equal Footing, a data mapping platform tracking the funding landscape in Africa.

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Photo credit: Iwan Baan/Sharon Davis Design

Partnership with Library For All

Since 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies has partnered with Library For All, now home of NABU, an online learning system that has expanded to 18 countries, to build and maintain a digital library to deliver quality educational materials to students in developing countries and expand their access to digital reading materials in local and international languages.

In Rwanda, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with Library For All and the Imbuto Foundation, founded by the First Lady of Rwanda, to increase the literacy of 20 million school-aged children.

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Students reading books on Library For All’s mobile app

Partnership with Nest

In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies invested in the non-profit Nest to build the capacity of the organization to reach artisans and create market access for this unrecognized global workforce.

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The beginning stages of a utensil holder on the lap of an artisan weaver in Uganda. Photo credit: Nest
The beginning stages of a utensil holder on the lap of an artisan weaver in Uganda. Photo credit: Nest

Partnership with CARE International

In 2019, Bloomberg Philanthropies partnered with CARE International to increase women farmers’ income and agricultural productivity through collective investments in Village Savings and Loan Associations.

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Women part of a Village Savings and Loan Association in Tanzania.

Partnership with African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative

In 2021, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative partnered to support women entrepreneurs in Africa.

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Since launching in 2017, the African Women Entrepreneurship Cooperative has trained 600 women entrepreneurs representing 52 countries.

Top photo: Women enrolled in Bloomberg Philanthropies funded training programs.