Ivanka Trump in Talks About Women’s Fund With World Bank, Sources Say

  • Discussions are in early stages and no structure is in place
  • Ivanka Trump wouldn’t be involved in soliciting funds

Ivanka Trump is in discussions with the World Bank about setting up a fund that would pool resources from G-20 countries to support female entrepreneurs, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

The project hasn’t been set up, and donors would need to agree on its structure, said officials from the World Bank and the White House, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The German government has taken a leading role in the effort, according to the officials. In addition to countries and foundations, corporations might be tapped for donations, a second World Bank official said.

While Ivanka Trump would advocate for the project, she wouldn’t be involved in soliciting funds, nor would she have a role in its management, the White House official said.

The online news organization Axios reported the initiative earlier Wednesday, citing an interview with Ivanka Trump. Axios said that a new investment fund would be set up to provide working and growth capital to small and medium-sized enterprises. 

“This is not an Ivanka Trump fund,” said Jamie Gorelick, her lawyer at law firm WilmerHale. “It is a World Bank project that she thinks is a great idea, but she will neither solicit for it nor will she have any operational role.”

Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter and one of his top advisers, participated in a forum Tuesday in Berlin focused on women’s economic empowerment and the G-20. A day earlier, she and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim had written a joint op-ed for the Financial Times advocating greater financial support for female entrepreneurs.

The International Finance Corporation, the private-sector arm of the World Bank Group, has funded women entrepreneurs before. In 2014, it started a $600 million fund, the Women Entrepreneurs Opportunity Facility. That effort was done together with the 10,000 Women program, a project of the charitable arm of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. aimed at providing training and access to capital for women starting small and medium-sized enterprises. The effort was overseen by Dina Powell, who was head of the Goldman Sachs Foundation before joining the Trump administration.

Kim, the World Bank president, released a statement Wednesday saying the organization is working on the initiative, and he thanked Ivanka Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for their leadership on the issues.

“Policy leaders, executives, economists, and academics all agree that one of the most powerful ways to grow the global economy is to expand the role of women in business,” Kim said in the statement.

— With assistance by Lindsey Rupp, and Bill Allison

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