11 July 2023 | Fact Sheet

Gender Lens Investing: Lessons From Impact Investing Partners

Summary

nvesting in Women (IW) collaborates with impact investing partners (IIPs) to improve access to finance for women-owned and -led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia and promote inclusive investing globally. This research examines the experiences of eight IIPs in integrating gender into their investment strategies and supporting women’s SMEs.

Key findings reveal that IIPs have made progress in incorporating gender lens investing (GLI) into their strategies, raising new GLI funds, and implementing gender-related policies. The percentage of women-led SMEs in their portfolios has increased, with significant private sector leverage achieved. IIPs are committed to providing comprehensive support to investees, expanding their GLI integrations, and pursuing ambitious fundraising goals. While IW has positively influenced the GLI landscape, challenges remain in fundraising and education on GLI benefits. IW’s blended finance has had a significant impact, attracting additional capital and supporting the implementation of GLI strategies. Technical support and assistance have played a crucial role in integrating GLI across all aspects of the firms.

Recommendations include maintaining flexibility in assistance tools, strengthening the GLI community through collaboration, and enhancing investment readiness through pre-investment assistance and collaboration between support organizations and financiers.

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