The bank for a changing world

BNP Paribas makes long-term commitment to promoting women entrepreneurs by supporting the Women Initiative Foundation

  • 04.05.2016

As part of its policy of promoting entrepreneurship among women, BNP Paribas has agreed to sponsor the Women Initiative Foundation over the next three years.

Created earlier this year, the purpose of the Foundation is to boost the role of women in economic and business life both in France and abroad. The sponsorship agreement provides for action in three specific areas with a view to highlighting role models for women in business and creating opportunities for networking between women entrepreneurs.

Training, through the BNP Paribas Wealth Management Women Entrepreneur Program: Designed in conjunction with the Women Initiative Foundation, this accredited programme will bring together some 40 women from a dozen countries at Stanford University for one week in summer 2016 to focus on topics around Leadership and Business Growth. “As well as benefiting from the excellent academic teaching at Stanford, the participants will have the chance to build up their international network and even to pursue business opportunities with each other,” underlined BNP Paribas Wealth Management Co-CEO Sofia Merlo.                                                                                 

Surveys: A report will be published in 2017 highlighting successful women in business in Europe. “Women entrepreneurs are genuine, wholehearted entrepreneurs – they have the same enterprising spirit as men,” points out Martine Liautaud, President of the Women Initiative Foundation, explaining: “However, women tend to be less ‘networked’ and they’re also less keen to take on debt. We’ve now begun to understand the obstacles and the stereotypes which give rise to this situation and we’re working to come up the right solutions that will help ensure that women enjoy greater success in the world of business.”

Mentoring: A number of events will be run in France by the Women Initiative Foundation, with the aim of encouraging women entrepreneurs to sign up for mentoring sessions. “Mentoring creates a vital link between young innovative entrepreneurs and more seasoned entrepreneurs who are willing to place their experience – and their address book – at the disposal of younger business people,” explained Marie-Claire Capobianco, Head of the BNP Paribas Branch Network in France and a member of the BNP Paribas Executive Committee, underlining: “We are firmly committed to helping build connections of this kind through the work we do with the entrepreneur clients whom we serve at our branches, business centres and innovation hubs.”

In France this new partnership is an integral part of the BNP Paribas Group’s ongoing commitment to support entrepreneurship, especially our stated Commitment n°5 to ‘Step up support for women entrepreneurs’.


BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a leading global private bank and #1 Private Bank in the Eurozone. Present in three hubs in Europe, Asia and the US, over 6,600 professionals provide a private investor clientele with solutions for optimising and managing their assets. The bank has €327 billion worth of assets under management (as at 31 December 2015).

Press contact(s)

Press contact: BNP Paribas
Servane Costrel de Corainville – servane.costreldecorainville [at] bnpparibas (dot) com
+33 (0)1 42 98 15 91 (fixed line); +33 (0)6 74 81 98 27 (mobile)


Press contact: Women Initiative Foundation
Raoul Agency: Sibylle de Villeneuve – sibylle [at] agenceraoul (dot) com ; +33 (0)6 45 29 58 57
Mathilde Ozanne – mathilde [at] agenceraoul (dot) com ; +33 (0)6 09 99 13 84


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