2X challenge, an initiative of the Development Finance Institutions of the G7 nations, has set new $15 billion fundraising goal after securing more than double its original $3 billion target. The fund is meant for businesses in the developing world.
This was disclosed by the group in a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Wednesday.
At the launch of the new 2X Challenge today, the organisation said it would seek to raise at least a further $15 billion by the end of 2022 as new members joined its ranks.
The organisation said it had raised $7 billion between 2018 and 2020 and mobilised another $3 billion from private investors that had recognised the value of investing in women in the developing world.
Over the last 3 years, there have been over 200 deals that have qualified for 2X investment. Latin American businesses secured the most 2X funding followed by sub-Saharan Africa where the volume of deals have quadrupled over the last 12 months.
The founders of the 2X Challenge stated that the significantly more ambitious new goal underlined the success of investing with a gender lens to support women to access good quality jobs, build resilient businesses and manage the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bogolo Kenewendo, a global economist and former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana, said: “The design and implementation of COVID-19 economic recovery plans provides a unique opportunity to work on economic structural transformation with a goal of promoting inclusive economies through women’s economic agency. We should not waste this moment.”
“Even before the pandemic, women in emerging economies had significantly fewer economic and business opportunities than men. COVID-19 has compounded this, with new research showing $1 trillion could be lost from global growth if female workers in sectors that were hardest hit by the pandemic do not return to the workforce.”
A growing body of evidence suggests that identifying effective ways to support women as entrepreneurs, leaders, employees, and consumers will increase gender equity, reduce poverty, and promote more inclusive and robust economic growth. Women represent a growth market bigger than China and India combined.
Jessica Espinoza, Chair of the 2X Challenge and Vice President, Investments at DEG, said: “The incredible increase in gender lens investing that the 2X Challenge is unlocking in this next phase will play a vital role in creating equitable, resilient, sustainable economies in the post-COVID-19 recovery. Investing in women is good business – and a catalyst for achieving all of the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
What you should know about 2X Challenge
2X Challenge are the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Austrian Development Bank (OeEB).
A core aspect of the 2X initiative is the establishment of the 2X Criteria, which has quickly become a global industry standard for gender-lens investing defining what ‘good’ looks like. Most recently, the 2X Criteria have been aligned with the OECD’s well-established DAC Gender Equality Policy Marker to promote further harmonisation and accountability in financing for gender equality. [nairametrics.com]