IDB Invest and OPIC launch first gender lens investment fund for Latin America and the Caribbean
IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, announced today an alliance for the creation of the first gender-focused fund for Latin America and the Caribbean for up to $200 million. The initiative, called Fund Mujer, is expected to be comprised of 30 percent debt and 70 percent equity.
The aim of the fund is to narrow the gender financing gap in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting investment strategies focused on women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurs, and firms that generate jobs or consumer products for women.
“Women worldwide face a $320 billion shortfall in access to credit. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the region with the highest percentage of women-entrepreneurs, the business opportunity could reach more than $98 billion annually. It is not only about fairness, but about business success,” said IDB Invest Chief Investment Officer Gema Sacristan.
“With Fund Mujer, we are not only investing in women-owned and led enterprises. We are also investing in enterprises that provide quality employment and access to products and services that address critical barriers so that we may enhance women’s economic participation and success. With Fund Mujer we are moving beyond merely counting women; we are also valuing women,” added OPIC Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues Kathryn Kaufman.
The creation of the fund underscores IDB Invest and OPIC’s commitment to expanding financing options for women in business in Latin America and the Caribbean and builds on OPIC’s leadership in gender lens including through OPIC’s 2X Initiative, the criteria for which will be applied to this fund. The initiative will be carried out through a Request for Proposals to support one or more funds with a gender lens investment strategy. It is expected that the selected fund managers will be announced during the first quarter of 2019.
Photo courtesy of Christopher William Adach.