Women’s World Banking has an over 40-year history as a nonprofit working on women’s financial inclusion. Women’s World Bank Asset Management (WAM) is a subsidiary of the nonprofit organization and a key pillar of its strategy. WAM $103 million second Fund, Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II, expands the gender-focused investment strategy of WAM’s first fund in innovative financial service providers while demonstrating the business case for gender-lens investing.
The fund uses a blended finance structure and a dedicated grant-funded technical assistance facility to help portfolio companies achieve strategic objectives toward gender inclusion. Each portfolio company also undergoes an in-depth, data-driven gender assessment resulting in customized, strategic gender action plans.
Across emerging markets, nearly one billion women lack access to formal financial products and services, representing more than half of the world’s unbanked population. Financial service providers have experienced rapid growth in funding and valuation since 2021, with the global sector nearly doubling to $210 billion. Digital financial services play a central role in financial inclusion in emerging markets and the pandemic only accelerated the uptake of digital solutions offered by established financial institutions and newer fintech players. Tech-driven financial service providers have a unique opportunity to address longstanding market failures that have left large portions of the population, and women in particular, outside of the formal financial system.
Expand investment into female-focused financial service providers to increase women’s participation in the formal financial system and grow the number of women in operating and management positions, and on boards.
- A reduced gender gap in financial inclusion by investing in financial inclusion companies in sectors such as affordable housing finance, tech-enabled smallholder agri-insurance, and innovative lending institutions, and encouraging these companies to reach more women as clients and workforce talent
- Pioneering gender-lens investment in 12–15 female-focused financial services companies in emerging markets by 2030
This investment advances Open Society efforts to further economic equity and social justice.