The funding will allow four investors to advance their gender lens investment capabilities.
Contact: Jon Purves
Associate Director, Media Relations
The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC, March 30, 2022 – The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) today announced that four organizations have been selected to receive funds under the Gender Lens Investment Pay for Results Fund.
With funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Gender Lens Investment Pay for Results Fund targets investors who are seeking to increase the gender impact of their portfolio. Each recipient will receive $20,000-$50,000 to develop the systems and processes necessary to employ a gender lens in investment. The grants will use a ‘pay for results’ structure in which the grant payment is contingent upon completed investments of the investor’s own fund, with a clear path towards positive and sustainable impact on gender equality.
The fund is part of ANDE’s Gender Equality Initiative (AGEI), established in 2019 in partnership with USAID and the Visa Foundation to build supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems in emerging markets that are responsive to the ways in which women have been subject to gender bias and institutional exclusion. The project is aiming to strengthen intermediaries that provide support to women-led small and growing businesses (SGBs) to fund more companies, build their capacity, connect them with appropriate sources of capital, and help them scale up. Other priorities include advancing women as key decision makers—fund managers, board members, mentors, and employees—in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
An expert panel selected the four winning proposals out of a pool of 72 applications, based on their clear understanding of the goals of the funding, project feasibility, and intended impact. The selected recipients are:
- Alitheia IDF Fund, the first dedicated gender lens investing fund in Africa. This project will aim to build capacity in pipeline SGBs that are not quite investor-ready through their existing Nzinga programme and they will build value for women in portfolio companies.
- Brightmore Capital, an investment management and advisory firm that believes that private equity is a key driver in ensuring sustainable growth and long-term economic prosperity. In their project, they will aim to deploy impactful capital into Senegalese SGBs and provide strategic support for their investee companies to support them in reeling their ability to push forward positive impact for gender equity in West Africa.
- EcoEnterprises Fund, a women-led venture fund with an unparalleled track record of over 20 years building nature-positive, gender-smart portfolios. With this project, they will enhance both their environmental & social evaluation processes to ensure insightful gender data is captured at the commencement of the process (i.e. due diligence) during due diligence and throughout the investment process.
- Insitor, an impact fund manager investing early-stage equity in emerging and frontier Asian markets. Under this project, Insitor intends to hire an employee fully dedicated to improving their internal systems and processes to unlock gender-smart investing practices of their funds.
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in developing economies. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.
As the leading global voice of the SGB sector, ANDE believes that SGBs are a powerful, yet underleveraged tool in addressing social and environmental challenges. Since 2009, we have grown into a trusted network of nearly 300 collaborative members that operate in nearly every developing economy. ANDE grows the body of knowledge, mobilizes resources, and connects the institutions that support the small business entrepreneurs who build inclusive prosperity in the developing world.
ANDE is part of the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) initiative catalyzes private-sector investment into early-stage enterprises, including women-owned businesses.