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Gender lens investing in Southeast Asia: A snapshot of progress in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam

Investing in Women Value for Women

2021

Asia Vietnam The Philippines Indonesia

Report/Paper

Impact Investing

Gender lens investing Impact Investing

Gender lens investing in Southeast Asia: A snapshot of progress in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam

Gender lens investing in Southeast Asia: A snapshot of progress in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam

This landscape report, co-authored by Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, and Value for Women Ltd. (VfW), presents gender lens investing (GLI) trends and insights from investors operating in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. It draws on extensive interviews—conducted before and during the COVID-19 pandemic—with more than 30 investors and ecosystem actors in the three countries.

The report highlights case studies of GLI in action, and details investors’ motivations, challenges faced, and opportunities for scaling up and broadening current practices and investment approaches. Presenting these local case studies demonstrates that GLI approaches are appropriate and feasible in the region. Moreover, the report provides inspiration and concrete examples for consideration by impact and mission-driven asset and fund managers, development finance institutions, as well as donors, ecosystem builders, entrepreneurs, and the general public.

A few significant insights from the report:

  • Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam account for 80% of GLI deal volume in the region; 85% of these deals came from private impact investors. (Notably, the global pandemic had both positive and negative effects to GLI work, which are discussed in a section of the report.)
  • Local and global investors are beginning to apply GLI practices; however, most local impact investors do not identify as gender lens investors even if they apply GLI practices.
  • GLI is smart investing. Capital allocation with a gender lens can increase financial returns.
  • GLI can positively impact the lives of women and girls, helping to mitigate gender inequalities and to extend access to financing to women entrepreneurs historically excluded from investment. By financing women-led businesses, investors can also address gender inequalities while earning returns.
  • GLI is high impact because of the positive spillover effects. These include but are not limited to women being more likely than men to reinvest in their families and communities, and to spend money in ways that benefit their households – on nutrition, education, and health care, for example – leading to improved living standards.
  • There is an untapped opportunity for investors to support businesses in becoming more gender-diverse and gender-forward.

 

CONTENTS

    1. Why We Wrote This Report
    2. Definition of Gender Lens Investing in Southeast Asia
    3. The Opportunity: Gender Lens Investing in Southeast Asia
    4. What GLI Looks Like in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam
    5. INDONESIA SNAPSHOT: The Quickly Expanding GLI Scene
    6. PHILIPPINES SNAPSHOT: Mostly Global GLI Investors But a Changing Landscape
    7. VIETNAM SNAPSHOT: GLI Is Still Quite New
    8. Conclusion and Next Steps

 

This publication is available for download on the VfW website.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Be sure to read the companion tool kit, How to Invest with a Gender Lens: A Guide for Investors in Emerging Markets, which was previously published by Investing in Women and VfW.

 

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