Investor’s Journey in Gender Lens Investing: inBEST Ventures
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 in these.
This case study focuses on inBEST Ventures (inBEST), a local impact investor in the Philippines pursuing GLI, motivated by a desire to grow companies in a way that gives equal access to opportunities.
inBEST is a recently-formed impact investor that provides customised debt, hybrid and equity investment and business-enabling services, aligned to the financing needs of women’s small and impactful growing businesses. The firm saw that making GLI as its main investment strategy would create a selling proposition for the company. It also saw that many women’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are viable, scalable and impactful.
From 2017 to 2019, there were only eight GLI deals documented in the Philippines, based on Intellecap’s mapping of the GLI market. In 2020, a large international investor phased of out of country, widening the gap for gender-focused funds. David Pangan and Toto Camba, inBEST’s founders, looked to take on this gap by providing funds in a way that would influence the ecosystem for GLI and provide GLI to stick and prove that a fund situated in the Philippines, working from inside the country and on the ground is possible.
The case study also explores how GLI goes beyond providing capital to women’s SMEs. It highlights how GLI can be a good strategy for financial relevance and increasing a company’s market relevance. Moreover, it discusses how the role of both men and women are important for GLI to work.