Gender Lens Investing
Gender equality is an essential pillar in the strategy to fight poverty worldwide. Why? Half of the world’s population is female, and when women are financially stable, their communities directly benefit from that.
Research shows that women in emerging markets invest 90 cents of each extra dollar they earn in their families and immediate environments. This translates into better schooling, healthcare, and overall lifestyle, and eventually economic growth.
To reach our mission of providing affordable financing to entrepreneurs in emerging markets, it is essential to focus on female entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. Many women work in the informal economy, often self-employed without formal registration.
Creating formal jobs and providing access to financing opens doors for them to a stable income, and health insurance and unemployment benefits. By removing barriers female entrepreneurs face and improving financial access for women worldwide, they have the potential to transform their local communities and national economies.
That’s why Lendahand applies a gender lens investing strategy where we investigate what the gender dynamics are at companies or funds we allow on our platform to enable investors to consciously and measurably combat gender inequality with their investments.
Lendahand has received a $1,2 million grant from USAID to help close the funding gap between women and men.
Our goal: Enable 120 million euros to go to women-led and women-driven SMEs in emerging markets over the next three years.
How: We will develop an automatic screening and an investment tool for our crowdfunding platform that should contribute to 55% of the total expected investments going to projects that focus on formal job creation and growth for working women.
Invests with a gender lens
"My priority is to invest in companies led by and for women. I've experienced up close how women, including myself, don't get the same opportunities as men."
Lendahand investor since 2014
"Equality between men and women needs to improve in the world, which is why I like to invest in projects for female entrepreneurs. Additionally, it strikes me that female entrepreneurs pay back the loans much better!"
In 2021, Cooperativa Kori in Peru joined the Lendahand portfolio. Kori focuses on tailored financial products for female entrepreneurs such as group loans and guides women to obtain financial stability and economic growth.
1.5 million micro and small enterprises in Peru are women-led. Mainly active in the informal labor sector, the most significant need of these female entrepreneurs is access to the financial system.
Providing female entrepreneurs with suitable financing options helps them overcome the barriers that keep them from starting or growing their businesses. Specific loan features that appeal to the typical female SME owner are longer-term loans, lower interest rates, alternative collateral, and repayment grace periods.
Cooperativa Kori focuses on supporting the growth of female entrepreneurs in Peru by offering them group loans. They bring female borrowers together and organize meetings to empower each other. Kori offers their clients business training, assists them with setting up savings accounts, and more.