FinEquity Blog

FinEquity's July 2021 Newsletter


JULY  2021

Dear FinEquity Members,
The Generation Equality Forum convened by U.N. Women, billed as the largest and most influential gathering for gender equality in 25 years, featured FinEquity members serving as action coalition leaders, putting forward concrete action plans  to reach financial equality for women, and developing practical tools to help turn commitments into action.
The unveiling of $40 billion to advance gender equality represents the “largest-ever collective infusion of resources into global gender equality.” In this context, FinEquity looks forward to shaping and curating the initiatives of our members to position financial inclusion in women’s empowerment. Our July newsletter highlights recent publications and activities, including our joint launch with UNCDF of their Inclusive Digital Economies & Gender Playbook.
Thanks for your continued support of FinEquity's mission!
Diana and the FinEquity team.
Member Collaborations
The Generation Equality Forum culminated in Paris on June 30. Timed to coincide with this, FinEquity co-hosted a webinar with UNCDF to launch their Inclusive Digital Economies and Gender Equality Playbook.  It contains a wealth of research on the common constraints faced by women in least developed and emerging economies, and concrete examples of interventions that can address those constraints. Recordings are available for both the Africa/Europe session and the APAC session

Published this May, GIZ's Women's Financial Inclusion Toolkit builds on a large community of institutions, donors, and individuals working to enhance women’s financial inclusion. A number of FinEquity resources are featured, and some of you may spot familiar voices amongst the audio clips!
Women’s financial inclusion is an important driver of economic empowerment and development, and FinEquity members are constantly striving to develop impactful programming, researching the drivers of change, and advocating at the highest level. Back in March, FinEquity curated a list of key resources on Women’s Financial Inclusion and Economic Empowerment. This FinEquity Monitor serves as an updated roundup to keep financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment stakeholders abreast of new publications that can help advance the practice.

We hope our community of practice finds the resources we have curated in the list helpful. Please visit our website to read more. 

Investing in Half the Sky: Funders and Women’s Financial Inclusion

By Molly Tolzmann and Diana Dezso

Despite the famous Chinese saying, “women hold up half the sky,” women still remain disproportionately excluded from meaningful financial services, digital technologies and economic opportunities. So it is not surprising that in recent years, advancing gender equity and women’s economic empowerment (WEE) has been high on the agenda for development funders. Many funders have developed official gender-in-aid policies (e.g. France, Canada, USAID) or joined women-focused funder initiatives implemented by multilateral development banks and partners, such as the 2X Challenge for development finance institutions and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi).

How has this momentum translated into funders’ financial inclusion activities? Please visit the CGAP website to read more. 

During our webinar on Pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) solar financing on June 15, 2021, we had the opportunity to hear from experts and providers from CGAP, FinEquity, GOGLA, ENGIE, Solar Sister, Strategic Impact Advisors, and J-PAL. 

Our participants had a lively discussion about the benefits of PAYGo solar to promote women's financial inclusion and well as the existing knowledge gaps. 

If you would like to check the slides and the recording of the webinar, please visit our website

Deconstructing the Monolith: Segmentation of Women Clients

On June 10, 2021, FinEquity hosted the first event in the series Conversations with Providers featuring the BBVA Microfinance Foundation to talk about how its affiliates in Colombia, Peru, Panama, and the Dominican Republic have segmented and analyzed the specific needs and preferences of the more than 1.5 million women entrepreneurs they serve in the Latin America and the Caribbean. 

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the participants of the event for their engagement with our community of practice. For those unable to take part, we are happy to share the recording of the event. Please visit our website for more information and stay tuned for the next events in this series. 

Informal Online Commerce - July 14, 2021

Emerging evidence from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar has revealed a form of digital commerce that runs in parallel to formal channels called informal online commerce. Driven primarily by women on both the seller and buyer end, it allows women to combine ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and the digital world to pursue livelihoods and become empowered, often in the face of systemic and normative constraints. To learn more about this phenomenon and research learnings within the Pakistan context, please CGAP and the Pakistan National Rural Support Program for an engaging panel discussion. Register here
The Billion Dollar Opportunity: Unlocking the Social and Financial Return Potential of Gender Lens Investing - July 22, 2021

Women’s financial exclusion is leaving billions of women AND billions of dollars behind: 1 billion women are unbanked, $330 billion in banking revenue is uncaptured and $500 billion in insurance premiums are unwritten. Women’s World Banking invites you to a conversation on how companies and investors can get to those billions using best-in-class gender lens investing strategies. Join us as we outline the business case for gender lens investing, and discuss optimal approaches to maximize gender inclusion and investment returns. An interactive session of experts and practitioners will break the myths and misconceptions of gender lens investing, define the opportunities and reveal cutting-edge best practices to get to the billions. Register here
Women-owned enterprises amind Covid-19 - July 22, 2021

The economic impact of COVID-19 has been as bad as we had feared … possibly worse. The economic slowdown has had the most disproportionately adverse impact on women, particularly on women-owned businesses. Most women-owned businesses are in the service sector, which has been hit the hardest. Adversities have affected women’s income more than men’s income, with 69% of women reporting a decrease in their income as compared to 58% of men. Young women and men who started a business activity had to close shops/faced losses as they were not prepared for the crisis. Given this, MSC has designed a webinar to draw the stakeholders’ attention to the challenges women entrepreneurs face due to the pandemic and call for concerted action. Register here
Advancing the course of digital financial literacy for women - August 25, 2021

Digital Frontiers Institute hosts an upcoming webinar entitled: Advancing the course of digital financial literacy for women. Register here
Empowering women through financial inclusion
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