11 July 2023 | Fact Sheet

Gender Lens Investing in Southeast Asia

Summary

This factsheet provides an overview of gender-lens investing (GLI) trends in Southeast Asia, focusing on data from 2020 to 2022. It draws on studies commissioned by Investing in Women (IW) to analyze the impact investing landscape in the region since 2007. The data includes investments by Private Impact Investors (PIIs) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), with a focus on promoting gender equity and addressing gender issues

Key findings include a significant increase in GLI capital invested during 2020-2022, driven by DFIs adopting GLI strategies. The number of PIIs with a GLI focus has also grown, with higher ticket size investments. The majority of investments in this period targeted women-owned/led businesses, and Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines were the main countries for GLI deals. The financial services sector received the largest GLI capital, while the energy sector saw the highest average ticket size, primarily from DFIs. Debt instruments were preferred by DFIs, while equity deals were led by PIIs in early-stage enterprises.

Emerging trends indicate increased awareness among mainstream investors about integrating GLI in their investment theses. There is a need for investment products that are adaptable to the needs of businesses impacting women, and better integration of gender lens considerations at the technical assistance stage. Sourcing investment-ready women’s SMEs remains a challenge, and efforts are needed to build awareness and capacity among capital providers and technical service providers to support gender-inclusive businesses and increase available capital for PIIs.

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