Press Release: OPIC Backs Asset Manager Deetken Impact and Mission-Driven Company Pro Mujer to Empower Women in Latin America
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
Pro Mujer and Deetken Impact have formed a joint venture to manage the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund. This fund invests in a diversified portfolio of high-impact businesses in Latin America and the Caribbean that promote women in leadership and governance, products and services that meet the needs of women and girls, gender-sensitive value chains, and workplace equity.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed U.S. $10 million of senior debt financing to the fund. OPIC’s investment will advance its 2X Women’s Initiative, which has catalyzed more than $1 billion in capital to empower women in developing countries around the world.
“Women in Latin America face steep barriers to full economic empowerment. By partnering with Pro Mujer and Deetken to expand access to products and services that empower low-income women like financial services and housing, OPIC will help equip women with the tools they need to transform their communities,” said Kathryn Kaufman, OPIC Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues.
Pro Mujer and Deetken Impact believe that investing in women is both a smart business strategy and a powerful driver of economic growth and equality. Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund is a senior and subordinated debt fund whose portfolio investments include financial institutions that provide integrated and thoughtfully designed services for low-income women. These include access to healthcare, educational loans, financial services, technical assistance, and gender-smart investments in renewable energy, affordable housing, and social enterprises.
“Advancing gender equality means collaborating across private, public and philanthropic sectors. By partnering with Pro Mujer, we are integrating decades of experience serving women and girls in Latin America into investment decision-making. We welcome OPIC’s participation and value their commitment to inspiring other investors to take up the 2X Challenge,” commented Alexa Blain, Managing Partner of Deetken Impact.
The target fund size is $35 million, with $25 million already committed and $14 million deployed. After successfully closing the first fundraising round from catalytic investors, including OPIC, Canadian foundations, and credit unions, Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer are planning a second round to raise another $10 million.
Maria Cavalcanti, Pro Mujer’s President and CEO, noted, “We’ve seen what women in Latin America can accomplish with the right resources. They build stronger lives, families and communities, and create opportunities for other women. We are very excited for this partnership with Deetken Impact, and for the commitment of OPIC towards ensuring the Ilu Women’s Empowerment Fund positively impacts women’s lives and the way businesses and investors commit to gender equal practices.”
Deetken Impact and Pro Mujer are mutually committed to supporting women’s empowerment through all their business activities and investment management practices.
Photo courtesy of Pro Mujer.