Gender lens social investment is making an impact in Africa

Globally, social lenders are beginning to realize that focusing initiatives like microfinance lending to women entrepreneurs turns out to be the most effective way to make whole communities more prosperous - unlike their male counterparts, these women entrepreneurs believe in giving back and uplifting their communities as an integral part of their business models. There’s a great quote by Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the USA. She says: “If you invest in a girl or a woman, you are investing in everybody else.” How true is that! This early insight has quickly led to further programmes specifically targetting women, including special business programmes, competitions, and support networks for female entrepreneurs across the continent. Theadvent and growth of gender lens investing in women owned businesses, has created female-centred portfolios that put much needed capital behind women in a more systematic and high impact way. As a result, things have moved on significantly in the world of social investing. No longer only the beneficiaries of social finance, today women are building a complete ecosystem of social investing that has female financial power at its heart.