By: Arif Zafman, Executive Director, Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Network (CBW)

A Call for Innovative, Inclusive and Accessible Financing Mechanisms

In 2013, the Commonwealth Heads of Government “called for innovative, inclusive and accessible financing mechanisms as well as capacity building to advance women’s entrepreneurship.’ In May 2016 in the Seychelles, Small States across the Commonwealth (home to 31 such states), specifically said that they ‘should also explore the potential of crowdfunding for accessing smaller scale financing for development’; and only in June in London, Commonwealth ICT Ministers committed to ‘continue to build capacity, paying particular attention to the emerging and over-the-horizon technologies and taking into account the needs of women.”

There is an urgent need to tap into new sources of finance and to find ways of delivering finance more effectively. The search for innovative finance is even more urgent given an ambitious Post-2015 development framework and a lacklustre global economy that has led to a dwindling of development finance. With support from governments and development organizations, crowdfunding has an exciting potential to support sustained and inclusive growth. It improves access to capital, helps to better manage the supply and demand for capital, drives innovation and efficiency and funds new markets. It also offers an innovative mechanism which has significant potential to further operationalize the untapped potential of diaspora investment.

CBW is engaging with FundRiseHER™ to support its rollout not only in the Caribbean, but also throughout the Commonwealth.  We like it and are standing in ready support of this initiative that is being birthed through the collaboration of Valrie Grant, the Commonwealth Businesswomen’s Ambassador and A. Cecile Watson, CBW’s regional partner for the Americas and the Caribbean.  We also see FundRiseHER™ as an important catalyst to engage women of the Caribbean, through CBW, to gain coordinated access to trade-related capacity-building programmes, such as procurement, entrepreneurship, women on boards and women’s engagement with international markets.

FundRiseHERTM is a crowdfunded grant that is created to foster the growth of women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean. Learn more at

Design & Developed By WebTrackStudio