Women Empowerment

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

World’s First Listed Gender Lens Impact Investing Security, IIX Women’s Livelihood Bond 1, Matures

July 6, 2021 – SINGAPORE – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX)’s Women’s Livelihood BondTM 1 (WLB1), the world’s first gender lens and impact investing instrument to be listed on a stock exchange (the Singapore Exchange), matured on July 6, 2021. With all coupon payments and principal payments made on time, even throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bond provided investors with an annual return of 5.65% from 2017-2021. The WLB1 is the first issuance of the US$150M Women’s Livelihood Bond Series, a series of innovative debt securities that creates sustainable livelihoods for over 3 million underserved women across the Asia-Pacific and other emerging markets. In addition to its strong financial performance, all social performance targets, including targets for increased financial inclusion and financial resilience, were met or exceeded, demonstrating the sustainability of the bond’s underlying portfolio throughout the pandemic.

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OPINION: To build sustainable ocean economies, start by investing in women – Thomson Reuters Foundation

Some 60 million women work in the fishing industry, making up nearly half that global workforce. But women often do the least recognized and lowest paid jobs – collecting fish on the beach or working side-by-side in processing plants – and have little access to capital to start or grow their own businesses.

They face discrimination, hold few management positions and are underrepresented in decision-making groups about investments for sustainable fisheries. And yet evidence shows that when we invest in women, they are empowered to conserve and manage natural resources like our oceans, which yields better results than when they are excluded. READ MORE

Financing a sustainable ocean economy – Nature

The ocean, which regulates climate and supports vital ecosystem services, is crucial to our Earth system and livelihoods. Yet, it is threatened by anthropogenic pressures and climate change. A healthy ocean that supports a sustainable ocean economy requires adequate financing vehicles that generate, invest, align, and account for financial capital to achieve sustained ocean health and governance. However, the current finance gap is large; we identify key barriers to financing a sustainable ocean economy and suggest how to mitigate them, to incentivize the kind of public and private investments needed for top-notch science and management in support of a sustainable ocean economy. READ MORE

5 Questions with Durreen Shahnaz – Morgan Stanley Alumni

Former Morgan Stanley analyst Durreen Shahnaz is the founder and CEO of Impact Investment Exchange (IIX). As the first Bangladeshi woman investment banker on Wall Street, Shahnaz has focused her career on giving value to those who are typically invisible to financial markets.  Founded in 2009, IIX is a global organization that is, according to their website1, “dedicated to building a more inclusive world by changing financial systems and innovating solutions for women empowerment, climate action, and community resilience.” In 2017, Shahnaz was the recipient of the Oslo Business for Peace Award2. In addition to her role as a social entrepreneur, Shahnaz was a professor at the National University of Singapore and also a media executive at Hearst Magazines.  READ MORE

IIX 12 Year Anniversary: Building Relief, Recovery, and Resilience

#BUILDINGBACKBETTER THROUGH RECOVERY

As we celebrate IIX’s 12th anniversary, we would like to share how we are building a new era of growth through three pillars: Relief, Recovery, and Resilience.

Businesses must not just survive the pandemic, but recover and have a lifeline to pivot their businesses so they’re able to adapt and thrive in the new norm. In addition to providing catalytic capital, capacity building and tools to adapt are necessary to ensure the capital is put to good use and help SMEs navigate through the challenging environment. To overcome the disadvantages faced by SMEs, it is pertinent for stakeholders to provide handholding support and lend women entrepreneurs a platform to relaunch and access national and international markets. Leveraging insights garnered from working with women entrepreneurs, IIX developed tailored toolkits and platforms across the growth stages of an enterprise that help them rebuild, pivot, and strengthen their business operations for a new business and economic environment.

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