CDP in support of women entrepreneurs worldwide

CDP in support of women entrepreneurs worldwide

The global gender finance initiative 2X Challenge mobilised more than $16 billion for 473 companies
CDP is one of the founding members of the 2X Global programme and has contributed around €80 million to finance agricultural development and microcredit projects in Africa

To contribute to the development of women entrepreneurs worldwide through initiatives that foster leadership development, increased business opportunities and better access to credit: these are the objectives of the 2X Challenge, a project of the international organisation 2X Global, of which Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) is one of the founding members.

Founded with the aim of mobilising more capital for projects that enable women in developing countries to access entrepreneurial opportunities, 2X Global aims to provide gender-aware and inclusive financial products and services to help increase women's participation in the economic and entrepreneurial life of emerging markets.

Through the Challenge, launched by the development finance institutions at the 2018 G7 Summit in Canada, the organisations have managed to mobilise a total of more than $16 billion for women's entrepreneurship, supporting 473 businesses in Asia, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. CDP, in its role as the Italian Financial Institution for International Development Cooperation, contributed to the 2X Challenge by financing three initiatives on the African continent to the tune of around €80 million.

CDP Projects

In 2019, CDP agreed its first transaction under the Ghana Cocoa Board initiative (Cocobod), a local operator that aims to develop the national cocoa industry by purchasing from around 800,000 local smallholder farmers. Cocoa is a highly strategic supply chain for Ghana, the world's second largest producer, and an important source of employment for women. Female employment at Cocobod exceeds 40%, and the company has implemented a number of policies to protect the quality of women's work. With a share of $44 million, CDP participated in a financing pool totalling $600 million.

Subsequently, in 2021, CDP signed a loan of up to €4 million for the Senegalese microfinance institution Pamecas, to strengthen the microfinance network in Senegal and further improve the local population's access to financial services, with specific products targeted at women. The financing, in partnership with the French Development Finance Institution Proparco for a total of €8 million, aims to support Pamecas in providing microcredit, thereby promoting financial inclusion in one of the countries with the least access to credit in sub-Saharan Africa1.

In 2022, CDP also agreed a $35 million investment in AfricInvest IV, a multi-sector private equity fund established to support the growth and development of African companies in the agribusiness, financial services and healthcare sectors. The Fund Manager, AfricInvest, has a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy that promotes women's employment and aims to implement policies that protect women's rights in all investee companies.


1Senegal is one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa with the lowest financial inclusion rate (15%). Source: Consumer Behaviors in Senegal, Analysis and Findings, UNCDF, 2016.