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IDB Invest and ESADE launch the first gender lens investing study on Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Global investments with a gender focus are growing, but there is a lack of financing for women-led companies in Latin America and Caribbean.
  • Private investment vehicles amounted to more than $2.2 billion globally, and in public markets $2.4 billion in assets under management were invested

Link to study

Globally, gender lens investing has grown in recent years. In 2018, private investment vehicles amounted to more than $2.2 billion and, in public markets, $2.4 billion in assets under management were invested. In Latin America and the Caribbean, there are still few investment products and vehicles with a gender perspective. This is one of the main conclusions of the first Latin American study on gender lens investing authored by ESADE and IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB). 

The study "Gender Lens Investing: How finance can accelerate gender equality in Latin America and the Caribbean" was presented today in celebration of International Women's Day at the event “Financial performance and gender equality: Why gender lens investing?” co-sponsored by IDB Invest and the Institutional Stock Exchange (BIVA), in Mexico City. This is the first detailed research on investment opportunities to increase gender equality in the region through the private sector.

Investment with a gender focus is characterized by including investments in companies that are women-owned or women-led, that promote gender equality in the workplace, and that develop products and services that positively impact women.

The study identifies both the gaps for risk capital, private capital and seed capital, and examples of companies leading this trend in different countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Panama and Brazil.In Latin America and the Caribbean there is a significant financing gap for companies led by women. However, they continue to be above the market in terms of consumption and credit growth.

The study indicates that gender bonds are part of a new trend in social finance and are an innovative way of providing loans to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) led by women. Currently, the financial gap is $5 billion for women-led micro-enterprises and $93 billion for women-led small and medium enterprises (SME).

According to the study, it is expected that in 2025 women will control 75 percent of consumer spending. Women also control spending as individual investors. Globally, they represent a key investment segment that drives investment with a gender focus.

Gender diversity is good business: beyond values, it has the potential to improve the risk and reward profile of investor portfolios. The study recommends facilitating a diverse workforce to help organizations in various ways: attracting the best employees, reducing employee turnover, improving business performance, improving access to markets and strengthening reputation.

To learn more, download the study here:  

About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, the private sector institution of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to supporting Latin America and the Caribbean businesses. It finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results that maximize economic, social and environmental development for the region. With a current portfolio of $11.6 billion under management and 330 clients in 21 countries, IDB Invest works across sectors to provide innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the evolving demands of its clients.

Founded in 1958, ESADE Business & Law School has campuses in Barcelona and Madrid and is present in São Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires. It has signed collaboration agreements with 169 universities and business schools around the world. Each year, more than 11,000 students participate in its courses (MBA, Executive Education, university degrees and masters in Business Administration and Law). ESADE Alumni, the ESADE alumni association, has a network of over 63,000 alumni, who hold positions of responsibility in companies on five continents. Through close to 100 professional groups, it promotes continuous training, professional development and entrepreneurial initiative. With a clear international vocation, ESADE systematically maintains itself over time in the top positions in the world of the main business school rankings (Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and América Economía). ESADE is a member of the Ramon Llull University.