Capacity Development

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"This Guide was developed for impact and mission-driven investors (“Investors”) operating in emerging markets to provide concrete, practical pathways for investing with a gender lens. The adoption of Gender Lens Investing strategies amongst investors in emerging markets in turn increases the amount of capital deployed towards women-led and gender inclusive businesses. Specifically, this Guide offers pathways for investment professionals, limited partners (LPs) and general partners (GPs) at impact and mission-driven Venture Capital (VC) and Private Equity (PE) firms that are investing in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Other actors that may also find the Guide useful are limited partners (LPs), asset managers, foundations, family offices and development finance institutions (DFI) that are providing capital to SMEs in emerging markets (Please see Figure 1: Who is this Guide for?). While the investor examples and data presented in the Guide originate from Investing in Women partners and countries of focus, the lessons learned apply broadly to investors operating in emerging markets.

There is no singular or linear path to investing with a gender lens, and there is no single ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to meet the needs and theses of all investors. With that in mind, the Guide outlines various options for investing with a gender lens. We know that gender lens investing is not an “all-or-nothing” scenario. There are multiple ways to integrate progressive practices, including ways that are not resource-intensive. This Guide outlines entry points for investors at any point in their gender lens investing journey and provides various options for decisive actions that can be taken at any stage of the investment process.

There is no single prescribed starting point. Investors can customize their approach to getting started and/or to deepen their involvement. The Guide builds on – and contributes to – a rapidly growing body of knowledge shared within the fields of gender lens investing and development, and is intended to spur action and learning. Recognizing that new resources are continually emerging, this Guide delves into the “how” of gender lens investing and is designed to complement the work of our partners and colleagues cited throughout this paper."


"The evidence is indisputable: high-growth scaling ventures are game changers. Scale-ups are the ventures that:

Create the vast majority of new jobs in an economy;
Generate the most value in the form of financial, economic and social returns;
Drive innovation and shape ecosystems;
Incubate and develop talent pipelines; and
Spawn the next generation of thriving scale-ups and the experienced entrepreneurs that create them.

Africa needs more startups that transition to scale. Many more.

But scaling is rare. And difficult. All the more so in sub-Saharan Africa, where large populations do not equate to large addressable markets, necessitating very early (and risky) expansion into new markets in search of the critical mass of customers needed to raise funding and scale a business.

Whilst there are some universal scaling principles that can and should be applied, there isn’t a formula for scaling. Because it isn’t pure science. On the contrary, scaling is predominantly an art: a unique blend of inputs, decisions and actions that is different for each scaling business."

9am - 5pm GMT +1
Lagos, Nigeria

We are excited to announce that we will be hosting ANDE’s Investment Manager Training (IMT) in West Africa!


"This is an interactive resource designed to equip you with the knowledge and strategies required to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. This handbook can be applied in the context of a women-only programme or to better support women founders within a mixed gender programme. We recognise that gender is not binary and so depending on the context, you may choose to use this handbook as a guide to reflect on how to make your programme more accessible, inclusive and equitable for other genders as well."