The funding will allow four investors to advance their gender lens investment capabilities.
"This guide for financial and business development services providers is designed to help you, as a company or individual providing services to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to be more gender-inclusive in your work. Applying a gender lens to your approach and offerings will, without doubt, improve your service delivery to women entrepreneurs, your own business outcomes and the communities where you work. With this guide you will learn about the benefits of targeting women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses and how to tailor products and service delivery to them. We give you step-by-step guidance for how to begin to incorporate gender-inclusive strategies into your content and delivery of services, helping you to set the foundations for better overall impact and effectiveness."
"The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) launched the Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund (AWEF) in 2019 with support from the Visa Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The overall goal of AWEF-funded projects is to address the gender financing gap for women-owned small and growing businesses (SGBs) in developing economies. The first round of grantmaking, AWEF Asia, funded eight entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) in Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Pakistan, and India, as well as programs serving the region as a whole. This report summarizes the lessons learned from these grants."
ANDE is analyzing the promising project data from AWEF Asia projects, which concluded at the end of 2021. One of the early key learnings is that women entrepreneurs who participated in AWEF Asia funded programs reported increased confidence, self-efficacy, financial and investment literacy, and ability to critically evaluate potential investment and financing options.
ANDE spoke to Jona Resphiti of MIT-D-Lab about the organization’s ANDE-funded project under the Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund to better prepare female founders seeking capital and support investors in bringing more inclusivity to their practices, including impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the project in India and an upcoming simulation of what it’s like to be a female founder trying to raise $5 million.
"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."
"Women-led and women-owned businesses continue to be a largely untapped resource for economic growth in emerging economies. There is promising data, highlighted in this report, for the opportunity to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystems supporting women in emerging economies, despite the negative impacts of the pandemic. This report underscores the potential for women’s businesses, especially startup businesses and high-growth entrepreneurs, and emphasizes the need to fill critical gaps in access to financing, technology, social networks and training. "