Each chapter’s gender equality action lab will ideate and prototype solutions to systemic gender inequities in the SGB sector. They convene regularly and will conclude with a funding challenge to scale promising solutions.
The ANDE India Gender Equality Action Lab is a collective platform convening regional specialists and practitioners over 9-12 months to identify barriers to success, improve existing solutions, and ideate and prototype solutions to systematic gender inequalities in the SGB sector.
The Lab used a design approach to identify one element or approach to the problem where progress seems possible; build understanding of barriers to solving it, identify actionable solution(s) relevant to the areas of influence that would fill a gap and address or circumvent those barriers, and prototype and test some dimension of this solution to validate some of the assumptions.
This year-long Action Lab was implemented as part of the ANDE Gender Equality Initiative (AGEI), aiming to contribute to the United Nations Development Goals (SDG5): “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” and provide support to women as leaders, employees, and customers in the emerging market small and growing business (SGB) sector.
The three solutions to come out of the ANDE India Gender Equality Action Lab are:
- Investor Equity Alliance, a product of the Beat the Bias design team: The solution, anchored by Village Capital along with Green Artha, Aureolis Capital, Krishi Janani (founding SGB of WISEN) and Caspian Debt will address the funding gap for female-led SGBs in India. The project will create an alliance of industry insiders and veterans to co-create, demonstrate, and promote models and processes that will improve funding outcomes.
- Novel financial models, a product of the Novel Model design team: This solution, led by Villgro India, Caspian Debt and Kinara Capital will research and analyze the barriers that prevent women-led SMEs access affordable debt funding opportunities in India, from the perspectives of both entrepreneurs and lenders. The project will help lenders develop debt products that are amenable, affordable, and accessible.
- The Diversity Network, a product of the Network Ninjas design team: This solution aimed to develop a resource toolkit/capacity building programme to enable support organizations design gender neutral networking opportunities and ensure a larger number of women entrepreneurs access such opportunities.
Solutions 1 and 2 (namely the Investor Equity Alliance and the Novel model) have been funded through the pool of funds raised for implementation of solutions. More details on that available here, along with details of winning projects across other chapters’ action lab.