Gender-lens (or gender-smart) investing refers to investments that achieve greater social and financial returns on investment by focusing on businesses that are owned or led by women, have good gender balance, and/or serve women customers with their products and services.
A Practitioner’s Guide to Supporting Market Systems Change toward Inclusion and Equity
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and highlighted the inequities that perpetuate harmful outcomes for billions of people around the globe. A growing number of voices call for global leaders to seize this crisis as an opportunity to “rebuild better.” However, this is easier said than done.
How can leaders help markets achieve systemic transformations toward inclusion and equity?
By 2050, over two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. However, water and sanitation services are often unable to keep pace with population growth in rapidly urbanizing cities, leading to deteriorating health conditions.
Household sanitation is a longstanding development priority for the government of Uganda. However, access to basic sanitation is still low and the country is off-track to meet the Sustainability Development Goal related to universal access to sanitation by 2030. This, coupled with the government’s policy that considers sanitation to be a household responsibility, provides tremendous opportunity to foster market-based sanitation as the mechanism to increase basic sanitation across the country.
On the surface, India’s impact investing ecosystem is thriving. There is high activity with deals happening across sectors and enterprise stages. At the same time, the narrative on impact investing has primarily been centered on capital supply and many investors in India have focused on achieving market-rate returns. This focus on returns left us wondering: are there areas currently not benefitting from this dynamic market?
Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are the socio-economic backbone of most countries, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governments, development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and corporates have all announced several short-term measures to support MSMEs. Most of these welcome interventions are, however, largely stopgap arrangements at best. For the most part, they do not address the medium-term structural challenges and the fundamental vulnerabilities to future stresses that MSMEs will continue to face.
This report investigates the obstacles that block entrepreneurs who are designing innovative technologies for people living in poverty in developing countries and identifies a variety of actors, from foundations to corporates, who are in unique positions to support these pioneers. These actors can leverage their unique resources to strategically support the journeys of these pioneers, from the initial inspiration to ultimate impact at scale.