GMIS Digital Series Highlights Industries post-COVID-19: Promoting gender lens investing for the global economic recovery

Building on the momentum of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) Virtual Summit 2020, the GMIS Digital Series is engaging thought leaders on the future of manufacturing through a series of webinars to be broadcast in the fourth quarter of 2020.

In this context, the UNIDO Gender Office, in partnership with Investment and Technology Promotion (ITP) Office in Germany, as well as the Private Financing and Advisory Network (PFAN) and the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP), led a webinar focusing on how a gender lens approach to investment can both accelerate gender equality and provide significant returns on investment worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political and economic systems and consequently amplifying the impacts of the pandemic. Chitra Rajan, Serial Entrepreneur and Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) Advisor, observed that women entrepreneurs suffer from reduced economic independence and higher workload. “Some form of bridge capital or additional financing is needed to be able to transition to business models where they are digitizing their operations or quickly adopting technology,” emphasized Stephanie Vak Stephens, Investment Officer/Gender Lead, International Finance Corporation (IFC). In view of this, Selina Haeny, Policy Advisor, informed that the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC) incentivizes partners, particularly in Fintech, to actively reach out to women and foster financial inclusion. “To help close the Sustainable Development Goal funding gap, blended finance instruments are needed”, says Kerry Max, Special Advisor at Global Affairs Canada. Beau Seil, Venture Capitalist, analyses gender patterns and gender biases in order to identify undervalued opportunities, having resulted already in improved returns for his investments at Patamar Capital.

The webinar concluded by stressing especially the need to provide targeted capacity-building initiatives for investors and entrepreneurs alike. Therefore, UNIDO’s Investment and Technology Promotion (ITP) Network is currently developing a gender lens investing e-learning course with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Similar initiatives, especially platforms for match-making will follow suit in 2021 under UNIDO.

Watch the webinar recording here.