IFC and Microsoft partner to foster female entrepreneurship in Brazil

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The partnership involves three complementary efforts: a public workshop to discuss how to address Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concepts in technology companies and startups at an early stage

Microsoft Participações is joining the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets and a member of the World Bank Group, to boost female entrepreneurship and training and employability for forcibly displaced populations in Brazil.

The partnership involves three complementary efforts: a public workshop to discuss how to address Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) concepts in technology companies and startups at an early stage; a technical training program for female entrepreneurs, and the promotion of technological qualifications for forcibly displaced populations, aiming to insert them into the Brazilian labor market.

The workshop will take place on January 26th and will be open to the public, through the Microsoft Reactor platform. With the participation of experts from IFC in the areas of E&S and Corporate Governance, the event will encourage people to think about ESG issues, which, more than a market trend, are a change in mindset that will shape the future of business.

Within the scope of the second stage of the partnership, from March to November 2021, IFC experts will provide a training program for the female leaders of the WE Ventures fund investees, an initiative by Women Entrepreneurship (WE), a project created by Microsoft Participações in partnership with Sebrae Nacional and M8 Partners (in association with Bertha Capital). The workshops will transmit technical knowledge and encourage the exchange of experiences to improve the business model and further expand the startups’ future fundraising opportunities. Support materials will also be shared and the interaction between female entrepreneurs, the IFC team, and their guest speakers will be encouraged. Female entrepreneurs will be able to join the sessions by registering on the Microsoft Reactor platform.

“Supporting the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and female entrepreneurship is key to IFC’s strategy to boost inclusive economic growth in Brazil,” says Carlos Leiria Pinto, IFC’s Country Manager in Brazil. “This partnership with Microsoft is a welcome opportunity to move forward in the development of these sectors, and shows that gender diversity and the strengthening of female leadership are important drivers of sustainable business,” he adds.

Another purpose of the partnership is to increase opportunities for forcibly displaced populations in the Brazilian labor market, especially in the technology sector. The program aims to increase employment opportunities through the development of a set of skills relevant in the tech sector. The training courses supported by IFC and Microsoft will be made available through Microsoft’s learning platforms.

IFC has been investing in Brazil’s private sector since 1957 to address the country’s most critical development challenges, including those of urbanization, social inclusion, competitiveness and productivity, and management of the natural resource. In the fiscal year 2020, IFC’s new long-term investments in Brazil, across all sectors, totaled $ 2.2 billion, including $ 615 million in third-party resources.

IFC and Microsoft partner to foster female entrepreneurship in Brazil

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