Opportunities around gender and finance are crystallised at events like Sankalp, argues Regional Manager Shruti Goel, where stakeholders from all asset classes come together to accelerate the women effect
As many as 70% of women-owned SMEs in the formal sector in developing countries are unserved or underserved by financial institutions – a financing gap of around $285 billion and there are nearly 6 million formal, women-owned small businesses in East Asia that are growing fast.
As this field of gender lens investing grows, it should not be positioned as simply a subset of impact investing. To capture its full impact, it needs to be a category that can reach beyond impact investing and cross asset classes from banking to public equities to private investments. There is a need to integrate gender analysis for all entrepreneurs and companies, including looking at workplace gender equity policies and practices.
Each year Sankalp Global Summit brings together an incredibly diverse set of stakeholders – from startups, enterprises, local angel investors to international investors, family foundations and large multi-national corporations – in order to debate on how to support innovations to scale and create larger impact. The Sankalp Southeast Asia Summit 19-20 November, 2015, held at Jakarta witnessed deliberations on the potential for the field of gender lens investing in Asia to serve as a needed bridge between two established areas of expertise — gender and finance — and to enable a broader conversation about opportunities to create gender-equitable social change.
Continuing the momentum, discussions on Gender Lens Investing will also feature at the upcoming Sankalp Global Summit 2016, scheduled from April 20-22 in Mumbai, India. As part of the broader summit theme ‘Innovations for the Next 3 Billion’, the organisers are planning engaging deliberations among DFIs (development finance institutions), multilateral organisations and regional institutions, as they try to reflect on collaborative measures to promote gender lens investing and why putting a gender lens to investing is important.
To register for the 8th Sankalp Global Summit visit sankalpforum.com using promocode WOMENEFFECT15 to claim a special discount.
Shruti Goel is the Regional Manager, India at Sankalp Forum and believes that markets can be made to create social impact and her work at Sankalp Forum provides her the opportunity to bring market actors and impact enterprises together. With more than 8 years’ experience of working with large social impact organisations, Shruti focuses on Sankalp Forum activities in India and South Asia.