Skip to Main Navigation

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs to Boost Economic Transformation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2022—The World Bank has approved $300 million to support women entrepreneurs, enhance the growth of new and existing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), and promote job creation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The new Empowering Women Entrepreneurs and Upgrading MSMEs for Economic Transformation and Jobs in DRC project (TRANSFORME DRC) will target assistance to women-owned and women-led businesses to create a more inclusive business environment and strengthen gender equality. This project builds on ongoing activities under the Small and Medium Enterprise Growth and Development project to scale up World Bank support for private sector development in the DRC.

The project will support the creation of up to 2,500 formal firms; improve capabilities and market access for up to 25,000 women entrepreneurs; expand access to finance for up to 5,000 established MSMEs through grants and a partial guarantee fund; and improve the business environment, productivity, infrastructure, and quality and certification services in target locations that include Bukavu, Bunia, Goma, Kananga, Kinshasa, Matadi, and Mbuji-Mayi. It will also contribute to the creation of a projected 28,000 jobs for the Congolese people. Implemented over a period of five years, the project aims to stimulate diversification, upgrade technology, and boost productivity gains that drive economic transformation. The project will be under the supervision of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

A diverse, thriving private sector is key to DRC’s economic transformation. Women can play an essential role in this transformation, if they have access to skills, technology, finance, markets, and infrastructure,” said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Director for the Democratic Republic of Congo. “This project will provide that access for new and existing women entrepreneurs and is aligned with our Country Partnership Framework that calls for more economic diversification, a stronger MSME operating environment, and greater gender equality.”

To capitalize on expanding human resources and nourish a potential pipeline for dynamic growth, DRC urgently needs to adopt a strong, sustainable growth path. This path requires DRC’s growing private sector to meet the needs of the country’s rapidly expanding population in an inclusive manner. The new project will empower local entrepreneurs, especially women, to ignite economic transformation, strengthen service delivery, and create inclusive jobs.



Keziah Muthembwa
+254 20 2936484
Daniella Van Leggelo Padilla


    loader image


    loader image