Investor’s Journey in Gender Lens Investing: Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc.
Investor’s Journey in Gender Lens Investing: Examples from the field is a series of case studies that seek to promote awareness and knowledge exchange of Gender Lens Investing (GLI) practices by sharing honest and relatable example, illustrating the role of philanthropic capital.
The case study explores the GLI journey of Foundation for a Sustainable Society Inc. (FSSI), a social organization in the Philippines. It offers a motivating case for long-standing investors that are beginning to become more explicit and intentional about gender and specifically bring gender into their investment thesis and processes.
FSSI was founded in 1995 with a goal of financing sustainable development projects for the marginalized sectors in the Philippines. Social impact has always been at the core of FSSI’s activity, supporting small and medium social enterprises, which it refers to as “partners.” In 2020, the organization decided to expand its impact by being intentional about how it engages with women-owned and led social enterprises (WSEs).
The foundation has positioned itself as a known gender lens investor in a region that is one of the fastest-growing gender lens investment markets. This was expected to attract more women client and grow FSSI’s portfolio. FSSI also saw it would offer FSSI an edge in fundraising, to raise funds beyond its endowment, which could be used for WSE capacity building.
In 2020, FSSI partnered with Investing in Women (IW) to pursue gender equality. As part of the partnership, the company developed targets on disbursing more funding to WSEs.
FSSI has since learned more about GLI and developed an institutional Gender Action Plan and Gender Committee to drive sustained coordinated efforts moving forward. It has also expanded its sourcing channels to include requesting WSE recommendations from members and continued its regular efforts to develop WSE pipeline.
This case study is also available on the Value for Women website.