Washington, DC, December 15, 2021 – The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) today announced that five organizations have been selected to receive funds under the Gender-Smart Investing Capacity Building Facility.
With funding support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Gender-Smart Investing Capacity Building Fund targets investors who are committed to advancing gender equality through their investments into target SGBs yet lack the technical know-how. Each recipient will receive up to $30,000 for gender-smart capacity building services to support SGBs operating in India, Brazil, or the East and Southeast Asia, Andean, or Eastern African regions. The fund is part of the ANDE Gender Equality Initiative (AGEI), established in 2019 with the support of 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. It will work 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. 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 five winning proposals out of a pool of 27 applications, based on their clear understanding of AGEI Gender-Smart Investing Capacity Building Facility funding goals, project feasibility and intended impact, and the extent to which lessons learned from the project will inform the work of SGB service providers and investors going forward. The selected recipients are:
Instituto de Cidadania Empresarial (ICE), to train and engage strategic audiences of the Brazilian impact ecosystem on gender and race issues for companies, entrepreneurs and investors.
Bangladesh Angels, to enable three cross-border SGBs (Reverse Resources, MyCash, and Hospals) to better quantify the impact the SGBs’ operations have on women in supply chains and women who use or benefit from their platform by planning for gender smart impact, collecting data, analysing data, reviewing and revising metrics and reporting.
RENEW, to build out the gender-smart capacity services of their in-country investment team as well as to test and refine a draft version of the SGB Gender Growth Acceleration (SG2X) Investment Playbook, which aims to provide investors and SGBs with a practical, practitioner-led strategy to improve the performance of SGBs in Africa and empower women at scale.
Sweef Capital, to build and deploy a pilot tool, the Gender ROI™, with two SGBs, develop case studies to support its promotion and adoption, and add to a best practices library to support gender action plans in Southeast Asia.
Yunus Social Business Colombia, to work with Corewoman, an innovation lab for women’s empowerment based in Colombia, to develop a gender-smart investing assessment and recommendations, propose and design a gender-smart strategy and indicators, and design guidelines to identify business models, products and/or services that positively impact women and girls.
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. About USAID 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.