Innovative finance is emerging as a powerful tool for harnessing private sector capital to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment but remains limited in its scale to date due to challenges inherent in innovation. Philanthropic actors can help overcome these barriers and play a catalytic role in enabling innovative finance to reach its true potential in creating gendered impact. Using three case studies of innovative financial mechanisms that are applying a gender lens across Asia, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) illustrates how innovative finance can create gendered impact and how philanthropic actors can use their resources to support the development of such funding mechanisms.
Impact investing funds seeking market rates perform about as well as traditional counterparts. Plus the mission tends to stay intact post exit.
But it’s not a bad idea for funds to hold companies until they reach a large enough size to dictate the terms of their exits or become acquirers themselves.
Those are some of the conclusions of a recently published study of 52 fund exits conducted by the Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), Skopos Impact Fund and the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association (EMPEA).
The United Nations tabled a resolution in September 2015 to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals by 2030: “to end poverty and hunger everywhere; to combat inequalities within and among countries; to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; to protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.”
Our globe is under constant duress from water problems, with one in nine people lacking access to safe water and about 30,000 deaths arising every week from diseases due to unsafe water and lack of sanitation. Furthermore, the Asia Pacific region has the lowest per capita water availability in the world, with rapid population growth, accelerating economic development, unstable governance, and external shocks such as the recent Nepal Earthquake all exacerbating already challenging circumstances.
In 1950, 746 million people lived in urban areas around the globe. Today, that number has risen to 3.9 billion, which equates to 54% of the world’s population. By 2050 this percentage is estimated to grow to 70%. As 21st century cities grow in size, they also grow in significance. Cities have become hubs for knowledge sharing, economic growth, and creativity and are at the forefront of global innovation.
In an interview, Ms. Kalpana Raina recalled her beginnings in impact investing. It was 2009 when she found herself on a “roadshow” with Durreen Shahnaz, founder of Shujog and IIX, to raise interest on the sector which was still in its embryonic stage. She had observed then that “despite all the credentials, despite all the access and networks that both of us have, this is going to be a very tough task.”