What’s in a game? How the trade finance industry can learn from England’s victory

It may have been “just” a football match, but its impact is much greater.

The 2022 Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women’s Championship is over.

Yesterday’s football match saw England claim a 2:1 win over Germany after extra time.

This result marks a historic victory for England, women’s football and women’s sports.

The significance of the match extends to other territories, especially in light of the current geopolitical landscape; strengthening avenues for international collaboration and competition has never been more important.

The success of last night’s football match proves that a combination of investment and innovation can drive social change and advance gender equality.

It comes after a historic trend of excluding women from football pitches. After all, the Football Association (FA) banned women’s football in 1921. It took over seventy years for the governing body to reinstate women’s football thereafter.

Last night’s record turnout at Wembley told a different story; a new chapter for gender equality.

The #breakthebias theme for International Women’s Day 2022 has been poignant throughout this year. He brought lasting awareness to the cause in all sectors of society.

Looking to the future, emphasis should be placed on changing the approach to the early experiences of girls and boys, enabling girls, in particular, to gain influence in areas traditionally dominated by men.

It’s an all-too-familiar story in the trade finance industry. Gender gaps in trade finance have grown and become more complex in recent years.

It is estimated that there is a $300 billion funding gap globally for small formal women-owned businesses. In addition, more than 70% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) owned by women have insufficient or no access to financial services.

There are many attributive factors for this but among them are; hidden gender biases, a lack of business cases for partners to lend to women entrepreneurs, and the distance between the development community and end users.

The Lionesses have shown that by investing in a person, a team or a company, success is limitless.

As a result of this game and these young women, a new wave of inspiration is emerging among the next generation of female players.

Today’s team has continued the legacy of those that came before it, defying football associations, successfully securing brand sponsorships and continuing to challenge gender stereotypes.

They have changed the game by breaking down barriers and enabling progress.

Breaking down barriers is our mission at TFG. For us, that means trade finance. For this England team, it’s through football.

What’s next for the Lionesses, for women’s football or for women’s sport, who knows?

If there is anything to extrapolate from this result, it is that if the international community can rally around women in all industries, then gender equity can become a reality.

What’s in a game? Hope.

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