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Promoting Gender Equity Across Our Portfolio

Since 2018, we have invested heavily in business-first, gender-smart technical assistance to help pipeline and portfolio companies move from the “why” to the “how” of gender integration in their business.


Our business-first, gender-smart technical assistance (TA) process first identifies gender gaps and opportunities aligned with each firm’s respective business model. From these gaps, we design, implement, and measure the results of highly tailored strategies with the goal of supporting business priorities and improving social and business outcomes. At the end, SMEs develop Sustainability Plans that ensure the strategies and changes implemented will continue to generate long-term impact. We partner with Value for Women, a specialized advisory firm helping organizations advance gender inclusion, to design and deliver business-first, gender-smart TA.


Our business-first, gender-smart technical assistance projects span two cohorts:

Download INVEST Press Release
 
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Cohort One

In Fall 2021, we completed our first cohort of business-first, gender-smart TA with 9 SMEs who implemented 20+ co-designed strategies. With support from USAID’s Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Hub through INVEST, we partnered with Value for Women to pilot strategies designed to address gender disparities and improve business performance in SMEs in East Africa and Latin America. Strategies were externally-focused on customers and suppliers, and internally-focused on workplace equity. Results include:

  • Increased market size and client retention

  • Improved diversity and employee satisfaction

  • New gender lens funding opportunities 


See below for project examples and results achieved in our final report.

 

Country: Kenya
Sector: Technology

Apollo Agriculture is a technology company in Kenya that helps small-scale farmers maximize their profits by providing bundles of everything a farmer needs: seeds, fertilizer, financing, advice, insurance, and market access. Apollo’s agro-dealers are a key touchpoint for farmers, and especially for women farmers. In an effort to improve performance of their agro-deal network, Apollo designed a business development training program for their women agro-dealers and took steps to improve their access to technology. The company also established data collection systems to regularly analyze sex-disaggregated data on agro-dealer and farmer performance. This data will ensure future business decisions effectively meet the needs of women and men agro-dealers and farmers.

 

Cohort Two

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AlphaMundi Foundation, AlphaMundi Group, and Value for Women are kicking off our second cohort of business-first, gender-smart TA projects with 6 SMEs in East Africa. The project is organized under a partnership with Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), the German Development Finance Institution and a subsidiary of KfW group, through their develoPPP program.

Through targeted business-first, gender-smart technical assistance, the team expects to impaact more than 350 employees (including 150+ female staff), 7,500 direct clients, and over 30,000 family members. The team will also facilitate a network of senior leadership from participating SMEs and alumni from the first cohort to provide support and share insights that can extend beyond the life of the program.


The team is currently scoping relevant, high-impact projects with the SME cohort.


Implementing Partner - Value for Women: Value for Women is a specialized advisory firm helping organizations advance gender inclusion. AlphaMundi Foundation and Value for Women partner to provide gender-smart technical assistance to companies.

 
 

This work has provided us with a reason and resources, and the Value for Women team helped us to realize the return on investment, both commercial and social, that comes from this effort.”

Kentaste Management