Serving the financial needs of women-owned businesses in emerging markets: Perspectives from the DGGF Portfolio
The Dutch Group Growth Fund (DGGF) provides financial assistance to Dutch Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) that engage with businesses in developing countries and emerging markets with customised services. Through this report, entitled Serving the financial needs of women-owned businesses in emerging markets: Perspectives from the DGGF Portfolio, the DGGF sought to identify the extent of its reach of female entrepreneurs and gain a better understanding of how capital providers can better serve their female entrepreneurs’ financial needs.
Based on the analysis of the DGGF Portfolio, 20% of the underlying SMEs funded through the DGGF are majority or minority owned by women. These women-led SMEs tend to focus on manufacturing, agriculture, education, and retail, with most of the companies based in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Despite the supportive attitude of fund managers, very few apply gender considerations or mandates when assessing opportunities or deploying capital.
- Institutional investors are actively pursuing gender strategies, and most are applying multiple gender lenses.
- More gender-sensitive strategies need to be implemented to realise the business case for investing in female entrepreneurs.
- Institutional investors and fund managers need to make a more deliberate effort to incorporate gender considerations in their investment lifecycle.
- Patient capital, i.e. investment capital with a longer-term perspective, and gender inclusive services are needed to help women expand their businesses
- Executive summary
- Overview of DGGF portfolio data
- Qualitative insights
- Female entrepreneurs
- Fund managers
- Institutional investors
- Conclusions and the way forward
- Annex 1: List of abbreviations
- Annex 2: Methodology notes
- Annex 3: Literature and other resources
Source: Dutch Group Growth Fund (DGGF)