Zurich/Washington D.C., July 2022 – After previous significant investments with leading impact asset manager responsAbility Investments AG (“responsAbility”), the International Development Finance Corporation (“DFC”) has committed another USD 146 million to responsAbility’s financial inclusion strategy. Spread across 15-25 countries and targeting end-borrowers who are 85% women, this commitment will help to expand access to financing for micro-entrepreneurs and small business owners – especially women – who need to grow their businesses, create jobs, and help their communities thrive.
DFC also partnered with responsAbility in 2019, playing a key role in mobilizing private capital by issuing different classes of listed notes. A key aim of this partnership was also to help forward DFC’s commitment to the 2X Collaborative, which is a global industry body that promotes gender lens investing.
Thomas Müller, Co-Head of Products & Structuring at responsAbility, stated, “DFC’s commitment to the 2X initiative and their global vision for equality make them an ideal partner for us. Having seen the tangible impact from our previous collaboration, leveraging the lessons learned and developing the product further was just the obvious next step for both sides.”
The need for significant commitments to financial inclusion for women is clear, as the World Bank recently published a study that stated, “For women, accounts can enable financial independence and strengthen economic empowerment. In the Philippines, women who used commitment savings products that encouraged regular deposits into a personal bank account increased their household decision-making power and shifted their spending to household goods relevant to their needs, such as washing machines. In India, a government workfare program that reached over 100 million people showed that paying women their benefits directly into their own account (and not into the account of a male household head) increased women’s financial control, influenced gender norms preventing women from working, and incentivized women to find employment, compared with those paid in cash. In another study in Kenya, women-headed households spent 15 percent more on nutritious foods after receiving free savings accounts.”
Find out more about the positive impact of microfinance from The 60 Decibels Microfinance Index.
Read the announcement from DFC: DFC Approves $1.4 Billion for Projects that Advance Development Impact Across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean | DFC About DFC U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (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 responsAbility Investments AG responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact investor focused on private debt and private equity across emerging markets. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Zurich, it has invested over USD 12 billion since inception and has a strong performance track record. With over 200 employees, collaborating from seven offices, the company invests across three distinctive themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. responsAbility is part of M&G plc, the international savings and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing.
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