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Serving the financial needs of women-owned businesses in emerging markets: Perspectives from the DGGF Portfolio

Dutch Group Growth Fund

2019

Other Regions

Report/Paper

Impact Investing

Emerging markets Gender lens Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Women-owned businesses

Serving the financial needs of women-owned businesses in emerging markets: Perspectives from the DGGF Portfolio

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.

Highlights

  • 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

Contents

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Approach
  • 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)

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