Women and girls – particularly those in rural areas and with lower socio-economic status whom we focus on – suffer an outsized impact from climate change and lack of access to energy products and services. They also have limited mobility as compared to men. Women entrepreneurs have less access to finance and resources to successfully setup and grow their business.
Why is it important?
What is a gender lens?
A gender lens means ensuring that women’s needs, circumstances and aspirations are incorporated in all decision-making. We apply a gender-lens in our analysis of market failures, potential solutions, and the impact on women. We support businesses that generate financial returns, while delivering positive impacts for women as well as their communities and the environment.
What are the results?
Our gender lens approach results in direct impacts for women, girls and communities. This includes improved access to finance for women, increased income generation opportunities and better quality jobs for women, and enhanced access to energy and sustainable mobility products and services. Collectively, these levers work to enhance women’s economic empowerment.
HOW DO WE APPLY A GENDER LENS?
We are purposeful in our investment approach and share our evidence to prompt broader industry change. We believe an inclusive business is a better investment, so we measure and track gender-inclusivity alongside business performance. We continually seek to improve our ability to apply a gender-lens to deepen our impact.
We incorporate a gender lens in four areas:
Advancing inclusive business
We conduct gender analysis and have minimum criterion as part of our grantee screening, due diligence and annual reporting process. The gender analysis looks at all business areas – including leadership, workplace equity, the business’ value chain, use of sex-disaggregated data, and how products and services may impact women. Each year, grantees develop gender action plans that are assessed, and focus on improving their ‘inclusive-business’ score year-on-year. The action plans outline goals and strategies to enhance gender inclusion with the additional potential for positive business impacts.
Solving business problems
For select grantees, we provide dedicated funding and technical assistance to incentivise testing innovative gender-inclusive strategies that aim to improve business performance.
Catalysing business innovation.
We seek opportunities to unlock business innovation using gender as a first thought, not an after-thought. We identify market gaps where new business models centered around serving women are needed to ensure equitable access to energy and sustainable mobility solutions.
Bringing industry change for gender-inclusive models
We develop and share evidence, data, and practical resources to support investors and entrepreneurs on their gender inclusion journeys. We support ecosystem initiatives and are an member of the 2X Collaborative.
‘start-up’ kits provided to rural women entrepreneurs in a Consumer Credit pilot by Dharma Life in India, which saw incomes increase by 20-30%.
increase in energy access jobs in East Africa from 2020-2022. How can SMEs attract, retain and advance female talent in digital roles?
of female SafeBoda users said that the service resulted in increased income, time savings, increased mobility, and making activities easier
Income increase experienced by Anita with the S4S solar dehydration tech and training service. “S4S facilitated my children’s education,” said Anita
We have formed partnerships with public & private actors, sharing resources to promote gender inclusion by encourage new ideas, demonstrating the viability of market-based solutions and supporting widespread replication and greater collective impact.