Women Empowerment

The Orange Revolution: Financial Market Innovations Towards a Gender-Smart Net Zero – Skoll Centre Blog

The Problem: 

With less than a decade to address critically climate change and the other UN SDGs, the pressure is on to find innovative and inclusive solutions.  The pre-COVID US$2-3 trillion annual SDG financing gap in developing economies has increased to an estimated $4-5 trillion per year.  Given this financing gap, the global financial system is positioned to play an integral and increasingly important role in addressing the gap.  However, much of the architecture of the global financial system was built without designing for the unique needs of developing economies, designing for environmental responsibility, gender equality, or equality more broadly.

The Opportunities:

The Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) movement has promoted rebuilding the financial system to consider these risks better, but even deeper integration of these considerations is fundamental for post-COVID recovery and deceleration of climate change. And both of these battles are fundamentally intertwined with gender equality:

Building ‘Forward’ Better:  The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts worldwide, and the climate crisis have jointly exacerbated the regressive effects on gender inequality – as a result, the eradication of the global gender pay gap is now set back by over a century.  Women were almost twice as likely to lose their livelihoods during the pandemic, due to various factors such as disproportionate childcare burdens to labor market asymmetries.  Building forward better underscores an opportunity to redress these failures and re-structure economies that better integrate and empower women.  Closing the gender-regressive gap in the workforce could add up to US$13 trillion to global GDP by 2030.  In light of this substantial economic impact, gender equality must be central to post-COVID recovery.

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Why impact investing needs to be ‘decolonized’ to help the people most affected by climate change and inequity – Business Insider

 by Durreen Shahnaz

Right before the pandemic, I spoke at an impact investing conference in New York.

As the founder and CEO of Impact Investment Exchange, I’ve seen how much actual impact impact investing can have — and how it can reinforce old, problematic norms.

As usual, I was among the few women of color invited to speak alongside an otherwise white male panel. And as is typical for women of color at these conferences, I had to endure input on my choice of attire — being asked to avoid wearing an ethnic dress (a saree in my instance) — as well as the casual dismissals of my remarks and the general fawning over “distinguished white men.”

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Durreen Shahnaz: Climate change is a feminist issue – The Peak

In her own words, the founder of Impact Investment Exchange tells us why climate change and feminism come hand in hand.

I stared at the painting. I squinted my eyes, and tilted my head, but could not figure out why the painting did not look right. I like to think of myself as a painter, but when I try to take flavours from my favorite feminist painter, Frida, I struggle.

Frida could effortlessly blend with oil, her political views, agony, and love as spirited attempts to express her own reality. I chewed on the end of my paintbrush, wondering how she did so time and again. The answer stared back at me from in between the interplay of green and blue textures.

 

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13 Reasons to Celebrate for IIX’s 13th Anniversary

IIX Anniversary, women empowerment

 

“13 has always been my lucky number. We take a moment to be thankful for another glorious year as we are energized by the continued support from our leadership, extended families, partners, associates, and community to connect the backstreets to Wall Street.”

 –  Prof. Durreen Shanaz, CEO and Founder of IIX

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Raising $30m for women-led, climate-focused enterprises – Barclays

Barclays was proud to work with Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) to issue its fourth Women’s Livelihood Bond™ for Climate (WLB4C).

The proceeds will directly support women-led and climate-focused enterprises in India, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines, and are expected to benefit nearly 500,000 under-served women and girls in the developing markets.

 

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New impact initiative to uplift underserved women SMEs in Apac – CityWire Asia

Singapore-based Impact Investment Exchange and the Australian government have launched three innovative financing solutions for women SMEs in the Asia Pacific.

On top of the initial funding of AUD 2.75m ($2.05m) from the Australian government, IIX hopes to raise AUD 18m ($24.18m) in private sector capital in two years. READ MORE

Bangladeshi-American Durreen Shahnaz now on Forbes 50 Over 50 list – Dhaka Tribune

Amid the continuing recognition for her priceless role as a financial changemaker, Durreen Shahnaz, a Bangladeshi-American investment banker-turned-entrepreneur, professor, and speaker, has now made it to the list of Forbes 50 Over 50.

The prestigious journal published what it termed the 50 Over 50: Investment list on Tuesday, highlighting the female investors and financial leaders who are leading high-growth businesses in the male-dominated spaces of Wall Street, venture capital, and impact investing. READ MORE

The Rainmakers: Meet The Women Over 50 Creating New Ways To Make And Move Money – Forbes

Born in Bangladesh and educated in the U.S., Shahnaz started her career on Wall Street in the late ’80s and saw firsthand how the financial markets can change lives—and how the vast wealth the markets were creating were not reaching the world’s women. She went on to work for microfinancier Grameen and, in 2009, founded Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), a private placement platform to invest in “last-mile” female entrepreneurs around the globe. While IIX has invested $215 million across 53 countries and helped, by her estimate, millions of female small business owners, Shahnaz is most proud of a financial instrument she created on the cusp of turning 50: a women-focused bond series. READ MORE

IIX and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Launch Blended Finance Solutions to Benefit 2.5 Million Lives in Asia Pacific by 2023

SINGAPORE AND CANBERRA [September 15, 2021] – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced today the launch of three blended finance solutions to boost resilience and drive investment to small and medium-sized businesses and underserved women in the Asia-Pacific. With AUD2.75 million in funding from the Australian Government, IIX will unlock an additional AUD18 million through the catalytic use of the funding.

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EMPOWERING WOMEN-FOCUSED BUSINESSES BY TYING INVESTMENT TO IMPACT ASSESSMENT – InclusiveBusiness.net

Impact Investing Exchange (IIX) is a pioneer in impact investing, founded by Professor Durreen Shahnaz. In 2017, it launched its first Women’s Livelihood Bond, focusing on financial inclusion enterprises in Southeast Asia. Since then, the series has expanded to include new sectors in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India. READ MORE