Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II, supported by DFC and EIB, becomes 2X Challenge pioneer flagship fund
2 July 2021
Leading women-focused finance equity fund recognized as a 2X Challenge flagship fund
At least 30% of the fund’s portfolio companies to meet the 2X Criteria
Boosting gender equality in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America
During the Generation Equality Forum, Women’s World Banking Asset Management LLC commits to apply the 2X Challenge criteria to its investments through its WWB Capital Partners II fund. With this commitment, WWB Capital Partners II, a private equity limited partnership that makes direct equity investments in women-focused financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America, qualifies for the 2X Challenge. Moreover, the fund has been selected by the 2X Flagship Funds Committee as a 2X pioneer flagship fund. The 2X Challenge is a leading initiative deploying and mobilizing capital to empower women and enhance their economic participation in emerging markets.
Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II fund is supported by the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and the European Investment Bank (EIB), who recently agreed upon the criteria that the Fund will follow in order to meet the 2X Flagship Fund goals. As members of the 2X Challenge, DFC and EIB will support the Fund to achieve its 2X Challenge objectives.
The Fund seeks to reach at least 30% of its portfolio companies meeting the 2X Criteria, increase the number of women represented and empowered in all its companies and support them to provide products and services that significantly improve the livelihoods of women across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition, Women’s World Banking Asset Management LLC commits to promote and maintain gender balance at the fund manager level by enhancing equality and diversity as well as a culture that actively values differences.
“DFC is thrilled to support Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II, now recognized as a 2X Challenge Pioneer Flagship Fund, as the fund works to unlock the economic potential of women across Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America,” said Algene Sajery, DFC’s Vice President for External Affairs and Head of Global Gender Equity Initiatives. “Alongside EIB, we look forward to working with the dedicated team at Women’s World Banking as they invest in women-focused financial institutions, promoting gender-lens investing as a successful model to improve financial inclusion.”
Thomas ÖSTROS, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) said:
“To accelerate development and reduce poverty we must tackle the obstacles that limit women’s potential. Impactful investments such as the ones of Women’s World Banking Capital Partners II Fund are crucial to empower women and ensure their full participation in the economy, especially in countries where inequalities are high. Gender equality is a core European value and as the Vice-President of the Bank of the European Union, I am proud that the EIB is supporting the 2X Challenge and one of its Flagship funds together with DFC.”
Christina (CJ) Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer, Women’s World Banking Asset Management said: “We are so grateful for the support of our anchor investors, DFC and EIB, in our strategy to close the gender gap in financial inclusion in the emerging markets by helping our portfolio companies capture the sizable market share of financially underserved women and gain a competitive edge by attracting female talent to all parts of their organizations. We are honored to be named a 2X pioneer flagship fund and committed, with the support of DFC and EIB, to achieving the ambitions of the 2X Challenge—for the benefit of women and of economies globally.”
About WWB Capital Partners II fund
WWB Capital Partners II fund is a blended finance, gender lens private equity fund, with a dedicated technical assistance facility investing in emerging market finance companies for women’s financial inclusion and empowerment. The fund is managed by WWB Asset Management LLC, the first and largest gender lens investor for financial inclusion, whose innovative investment approach is designed to improve outcomes for women as customers, employees and leaders and result in financial outperformance.
The 2X Challenge aims to advance opportunities for women through enterprise support, leadership, and career progression, quality employment, and products/services that enhance women’s economic participation. It aims to identify eligible companies directly or through financial intermediaries that are committed to one or more of these areas. It recently set new ambitious $15 billion fundraising target for 2021-2022 after surpassing its original $3 billion target by 100 per cent.
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.
About the European Investment Bank
To enhance the positive impact of its activities on gender equality and empower women and girls, the EIB Group adopted a Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment and a Gender Action Plan, with the aim of embedding gender equality and, in particular women’s economic empowerment in the EIB’s business model. It covers its lending, blending and advising work within and outside the EU.
The EIB is also committed to driving gender equality in the workplace. The EU Bank champions diversity and inclusion not only because of the undeniable business benefits they bring, but also because of their power to enrich the working environment for all staff.
The EIB has launched SheInvest, a new initiative to boost gender equality and female economic empowerment. The aim is to mobilise EUR 1 billion of investment that can benefit millions of women across Africa with better access to finance and by making sustainable infrastructure services and products work for them. This initiative was launched simultaneously at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg and at the EIB headquarters in Luxembourg.
The 2X Challenge, founded by the Development Finance Institutions of the G7 nations, today announced that it would raise $15 billion for gender-lens investment after surpassing its original target by 100 per cent.
During the Finance in Common Summit, responsAbility Investments, a leading Swiss sustainable asset manager, commits to apply a gender lens to its investments through its climate fund. With this commitment, the climate fund, a private debt fund addressing lack of access to clean power primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia, qualifies for the 2X Challenge. The 2X Challenge is a leading initiative deploying and mobilizing capital to empower women and enhance their economic participation in emerging markets.