Strategic support will drive gender equality in emerging market portfolio companies

OeEB delivers seed funding for responsAbility Gender-Smart Investing Technical Assistance Facility

January 20223 min read

Vienna/Zürich, 11 January 2022 – OeEB (the development bank of Austria) has committed EUR 200,000 in seed funding in order to launch a Gender-Smart Investing Technical Assistance (TA) Facility with leading sustainable investment firm, responsAbility Investments. The TA Facility will strategically support portfolio companies across several investment funds in their efforts to achieve gender equality and empower female end-beneficiaries in developing countries. Many of the biggest challenges in developing countries are problems frequently faced by women, such as lower access to basic services, jobs, land and financing. As a result, women worldwide experience lower levels of income, quality of life, and economic and political empowerment. Failing to address these challenges inhibits development as a whole, and as the socio-economic implications of COVID-19 have impacted women disproportionately and widened the gender pay gap, it is critical to increase efforts to build more inclusive economies by instilling gender equality across all forms of economic participation. Technical Assistance has been an integral part of responsAbility’s development approach, having catalysed over USD 25 million in donor funding for advisory support. Such support is crucial to build the capacity required to bridge knowledge gaps, ensure adherence with sectors’ best practices and principles, capture market potential, reduce risks, and support responsAbility funds in fulfilling their role as market enablers and as establishers of sustainable business models. This TA Facility will build on the objectives set by the 2X Challenge to address gender inequality in value chains and workplaces. As a member of the 2X Challenge, OeEB is planting the first seed of this TA Facility and is looking to develop it further and support its growth with responsAbility and other donors. As climate change mitigation is a critical investment priority for both responsAbility and OeEB, the initial focus of this TA Facility will be to create innovative strategies to identify financing gaps and opportunities at the intersection of gender and climate finance, with the aim to develop better and more equitable financing solutions, improve the financial inclusion of gender-smart businesses and build the financial resilience of women-run enterprises.

Eva Tschannen, Head of Technical Assistance at repsonsAbility: “With this funding from our long-term collaborator OeEB, we can build on the strong and growing evidence that identifying effective ways to support women as entrepreneurs, managers, workers and consumers amplifies both impacts and returns on investments.”

“Mitigating climate change and promoting gender equality in developing and emerging countries have been anchored as two cross-sector goals within our strategy. We are proud to work with responsAbility – a partner who shares our goals and commitment – in driving such initiatives even further, as this is critical for global development.”, says Sabine Gaber, Member of OeEB’s Executive Board.

About responsAbility Investments AG responsAbility has invested over USD 11 billion in emerging markets since 2003, and as an impact asset manager, focuses on climate finance, sustainable food production, and financial inclusion. It works closely with players in local markets, as it maintains eight offices around the globe, in order to strategically take steps to directly contribute to reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, responsAbility manages USD 3.6 billion in assets invested in over 300 ESG-vetted high-impact companies in nearly 80 countries. About OeEB Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specialises in the provision of long-term finance for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries which create sustainable development. Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects. For more information, please visit


Stephanie Bilo
responsAbility Investments
+41 44 403 0553

Verena Kastner, BA
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB)
+43 1 533 12 00-2993

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