Kiva partners with USAID to scale gender lens investing
We are proud to spotlight the 2020 announcement of Kiva’s partnership with USAID to design the Kiva Invest in Women Fund (IWF). IWF will be the next themed fund to be launched by Kiva Capital and aims to catalyze financial access for women globally by unlocking institutional capital at scale. It will do so by connecting Kiva’s global network of women-focused lending partners and social enterprises with institutional investors.
As highlighted in the July 6, 2020 press release, the partnership with the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative with USAID enables us to conduct a thoughtful, multi-stakeholder design process to ensure IWF is both truly transformative for women and attractive to gender lens investors.
Input, collaboration, and support from Kiva’s global network of strategic partners and lending partners will be invaluable to the design of IWF. We will be conducting listening tours with both potential investors and potential investees to learn how IWF can best meet their needs and bring them together. We will additionally build opportunities for engagement across the broader gender lens investment community throughout the 18-month design process.
Kiva’s goal is to fill in critical gaps in the gender lens investing field:
- According to the research we’ve done, there are 87 gender lens investing private equity and debt funds worldwide, but only 1 in 5 deploy capital in Africa or Latin America, and less than 5% have $100M as target capital.
- Through 2019, only $2.2B has been raised in gender lens investment capital in private markets.
Investing in women’s entrepreneurship is even more critical now in the context of COVID-19. We know that women’s economic empowerment fuels inclusive economic growth. But according to a 2020 survey by Facebook, in partnership with OECD and the World Bank, women-owned businesses have been more likely to close because of COVID-19 in all regions of the world.
IWF builds on Kiva’s longstanding efforts to advance women’s financial inclusion and the lessons we have learned along the way about what works and doesn’t work for women’s economic empowerment.
We are are committed to sharing our learnings about what works to empower women entrepreneurs with the field of gender lens investors and intend to hold a Learning Forum in summer 2021.