Smart Investment: Investment Experiences with a Gender Approach of four influential funds from Latin America

February 14 2023
Mauren esquivel

Investment funds have the potential to transform and promote the inclusion of women in society and business, and in turn promote sustainable development. These impacts can be achieved simultaneously to generate profitability for investors. This is one of the main conclusions drawn from the event held jointly by the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) of INCAE, Value for women y SVXMX.

Ximena Trujillo, Executive Director of Converter from Colombia highlighted how the investment allocated to projects promoted by women is an opportunity for funds to venture into social businesses, with financial profitability while generating a great social and economic impact in the world and in companies.

Taking advantage of the catalytic role that we have as investors to generate changes in the business ecosystem is indicated as an important contribution that the funds can make to achieve the sustainable development goals, according to María Pía Morante, Director of Investments at ALIVEVentures.

The impact process of the funds is not automatic, it is something that must be worked on based on a strategy. In this sense, Diego Serebrisky, partner of Dalus Capital She recommended that the organization should not set itself the goal of having the perfect gender-lensed investment program to start working with women. Rather start with small steps until the entire organization develops in this sense and thus carry out a transformation that is sustainable over time.

The form of communication and relationships with stakeholders must also be considered to achieve the desired impact. Leonor Gutiérrez, director of the Women's Agriculture Initiative, WAI, in Root Capital commented on the importance of having human conversations to achieve strategic inclusion goals.

As part of the dynamics of the event, the tool was presented Gender Smart Nexus which seeks to offer a concrete view of the progress of gender inclusion practices in organizations through a self-diagnosis and also contribute to the generation of benchmarks. This tool was presented by Norman Sarria, Co-founder of Value For Women and Expert in Gender and Business.

Rebecca Fries, CEO and Co-Founder of Value for Women, moderated the conversation with the fund managers that made up the panel, also sharing some of the learnings that Value For Women has been building through more than a decade of practice. One of these lessons is that there are different paths for Investment with a Gender Focus, which is evidenced by the different experiences of the panel. There will be more posts on this topic in April. In addition, there was the participation of Gracia María Barahona, Manager of the Progresando Entrepreneurial Training Program (EMPRO) of Honduras and director of the Ecobanking Project, both from CLACDS who opened the webinar.

The associative work so that these ideas become reality was pointed out as one of the necessary conditions to incorporate the gender lens in organizations. It is essential to move from the generation of thought to implementation, and for this reason they work and join forces with different allies so that these ideas become reality, according to Ronald Arce, executive director of CLACDS/INCAE.

To know in detail about the discussed, you can watch the recording in the following  webinar link . This was the third event of reflections on investments with a gender approach, the first was held in July of last year with the webinar "Investments with a gender lens for the progress of the region", the second webinar "Best practices, strategies and tools to close gender gaps in investment funds" took place in October.

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