ScaleX – 2022

A global program for accelerators tackling gender inequalities

To help tackle the financing gap that women entrepreneurs still face, particularly in emerging markets, IFC and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) launched a new call for applications for IFC ScaleX—a performance-based initiative that will provide an award of up to $25,000 to business accelerators that have helped women-led companies in emerging markets raise equity financing.

Women entrepreneurs in emerging markets face a daunting gender finance gap when it comes to growing their start-ups; only 11% of enterprises that attain seed funding are female-led.

Research developed by IFC and the World Bank Group Gender Innovation Lab, in partnership with Village Capital, shows that despite women leading half the start-ups that participate in accelerators—entities designed to train and support the development of start-ups to become investment ready—they continue to face greatly unequal access to capital. The research data shows acceleration increases the amount of equity male-led startups raise 2.6 times more than women-led startups. The persistent gender financing gap cannot be easily attributed to differences in the quality of the startups, suggesting that investor bias and risk perception may play a role.

IFC ScaleX seeks to reduce the gender gap in equity finance between male and women-led startups by providing financial incentives that will encourage accelerators to increase their focus on actively helping women-led startups to fundraise capital post their accelerator programs.

IFC ScaleX is open for accelerators interested in getting rewarded for enabling women-led startups to raise venture capital. The women-led startup must be in operation in an IFC member country.


November 23, 2022
Organizer IFC
Website Visit website
Africa, Antarctica Region, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Europe, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Northern America, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
Sectors Sector agnostic