23 November 2023 | Report

Closing the Gender Finance Gap

Gender Lens Investing, Women's Economic Empowerment


In recent years, the gender financing gap for women entrepreneurs has gained recognition globally, leading to the emergence of the Gender Lens Investing sector, with Southeast Asia taking a prominent role. Despite the success of microfinance for women borrowers in the Philippines, accessing capital beyond microfinance remains a significant challenge for women-led businesses.

This report aims to highlight the potential for gender lens investing in the Philippines, focusing on women entrepreneurs’ perspectives on the gender finance gap. They express clear ambition and readiness for growth but face difficulties finding suitable capital. On the other hand, investors are interested and keen to support women entrepreneurs and adopt a gender lens, but they do not find many women entrepreneurs in their pipeline. This gap between demand and supply needs to be bridged through a variety of innovative, inclusive mechanisms and this will require a collaborative effort from different actors across the ecosystem.

This report was developed by Villgro Philippines with support from Investing in Women. It was originally published on the Villgro Philippines website.


  • Despite an increasing number of women creating value-adding business that will ultimately bring wealth to the economy, support from women entrepreneurs remains inadequate. Topping the list of challenges is the lack of adequate financing.
  • Key challenges faced by women lack of information on funding opportunities, types of funding, and navigating fundraising; as well as discomfort in accessing external financing, due to lack of confidence in repaying investors.
  • At the opposite end, the challenges identified by investors are low visibility of WSGBs in the pipeline, mismatch of existing products vs. WSGB needs, and lack of data and success stories of WSGBs across diverse sectors.
  • The report discusses ways to address barriers to financing women entrepreneurs, and provide practical actions for entrepreneurs, investors, and for the ecosystem to bridge the gender finance gap.

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Published by: Investing in Women, Villgro Philippines

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