The funds will be used to make loans to organizations that connect women-led small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) with financing and provide women with access to financial services and products. It's estimated that fewer than 10 percent of women operating SMEs have access to capital, while women entrepreneurs consistently identify access to financing as a major obstacle to expanding their businesses.
"We have a strong partnership with Bank of America — they're not only one of our biggest institutional investors, but this new investment is the largest we've received to promote women's economic empowerment and development," said Jennifer Pryce, president and CEO of the Calvert Foundation, which recently met its goal of making $20 million in loans through its Women Investing in Women Initiative.
"Combining our resources with Calvert Foundation's know-how is a prime example of the role business can play in addressing a significant challenge, in this case a lack of access to capital for women entrepreneurs," said Anne Finucane, global strategy and marketing officer at Bank of America. "These types of partnerships are essential to women's economic empowerment."