WDI Leads Research in Gender Equity Impact Investment Effort
Study after study has shown that investing in women living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has a strong ripple effect. When women earn more money, either as entrepreneurs or employees, they tend to place more of their economic gains back into their children’s education and health, and also strengthen local economies.
However, there is far less evidence on how gender-focused investing and gender-diverse teams within businesses lead to better financial and social outcomes, and how to go about achieving those goals.
This is the aim of the Gender-Smart Enterprise Assistance Research Coalition (G-SEARCh) which includes six impact investors: AlphaMundi Foundation, Acumen, SEAF, Root Capital, AHL Venture Partners, and Shell Foundation. Impact investors seek social and/or environmental gains in addition to financial returns on their investments. The group came together with a shared goal of supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets to incorporate gender across their respective business models. In addition to providing direct investments, these impact investors are also providing subsidized technical assistance focused on promoting gender equity as a core business principle to these SMEs. The G-SEARCh consortium also seeks to build the evidence base and business case for gender lens investing and this approach.