Gender Responsive Investment Handbook

Addressing the Barriers to Financial Access for Women’s Enterprise

Paperback: £30.00

Gender Responsive Investment Handbook

Publication date: 20 June 2013
Size: 253mm x 190mm
ISBN: 978-1-84929-100-2
Pages: 90

Women account for between 25-40 per cent of SMEs worldwide and their earning power is estimated to reach US$18 trillion by 2014 – more than double the estimated 2014 GDP of China and India combined. Yet there remain structural and cultural barriers to the effective delivery of financial services to women in the global marketplace, meaning that a high percentage is unbanked and receive a low proportion of credit. As women entrepreneurs grow in number, they need financial products and services beyond microfinance and gender responsive budget initiatives that will allow them to expand their businesses.

Gender Responsive Investment is a process of ensuring gender-equitable access to financial services and investment resources through rigorous assessment of the differing needs of women and men. It recognises that a more equitable allocation of resources will make a greater impact on sustainable economic development, with long-term benefits for the whole economy.

This Handbook supports policy-makers to identify the policies, laws and regulations that hinder women’s access to finance, and assists financial institutions to identify opportunities to deliver inclusive, well-designed products and services for women.

ContentsExpand or collapse me

List of tables, figures, boxes and case studies
Abbreviations and acronyms
About the authors

1. Overview
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Gender responsive investment
1.3 Scope of the Handbook
1.3.1 Structure of the Handbook
1.3.2 What’s not included in the Handbook
1.4 Rationale for GRI
1.4.1 Women are an economic force
1.4.2 Access to financial services directly impacts GDP growth
1.4.3 A large proportion of women are unbanked
1.4.4 Legislative barriers exist for women entrepreneurs
1.4.5 Women take a different approach to the use of financial services
1.4.6 Enterprise support services are crucial
1.4.7 Women are an untapped opportunity

2. State of the Policy Environment
2.1 Outstanding policy gaps
2.1.1 Women are under-represented in decision-making institutions
2.1.2 Inequitable economic positions and gender-based distortion of markets
2.2 Financial crises and vulnerable populations
2.3 Inefficient resource allocation
2.4 Addressing systemic and institutional issues

3. State of the Business Environment
3.1 What does gender have to do with the enabling environment?
3.2 Current status of women in the economy
3.2.1 The playing field is not level
3.2.2 Women’s labour force participation generally lags behind men’s
3.2.3 Women spend at least twice as much time as men on domestic work
3.2.4 Women are disproportionately affected by barriers limiting access to investment
3.3 Benefits of GRI to the economy
3.3.1 Access to financial services directly impacts GDP growth
3.3.2 Increasing the proportion of women who are banked
3.3.3 Poverty reduction
3.3.4 Increasing the number of women trading in the formal sector
3.3.5 A channel for social protection
3.4 Framework for policy-makers
3.4.1 Education
3.4.2 Legal and regulatory environment
3.4.3 Financial infrastructure
3.4.4 Business support institutions
3.4.5 Indicators for tracking progress

4. The Role of Institutions
4.1 Status of women’s enterprises and access to financial services
4.2 Benefits of GRI for financial services providers
4.2.1 New market entry
4.2.2 Profit and portfolio growth
4.2.3 Lower risk
4.2.4 Increased customer loyalty
4.2.5 Innovation
4.2.6 Social license to operate
4.2.7 Differentiation from competitors
4.3 Framework for financial services providers
4.3.1 Diagnostic phase
4.3.2 Design phase
4.4 Issues in the design of GRIs
4.4.1 Lack of proper documentation
4.4.2 High prices and high cost of capital
4.4.3 Lack of collateral
4.4.4 Physical accessibility
4.4.5 Poor financial management skills
4.4.6 Limited business networks
4.4.7 Mixed experience of financial services/products
4.4.8 Data collection for performance management
4.5 Implementation and monitoring
4.5.1 Implementation
4.5.2 Monitoring and evaluation

5. Conclusion
5.1 Levelling the playing field
5.2 Investing for an inclusive sustainable future
5.3 Adapting and innovating
5.4 Providing a regulatory framework that encourages GRI

Appendix A. Checklist for Policy-makers
Appendix B. Checklist for Financial Institutions
Appendix C. Commonwealth Economies with Gender-differentiated Laws
Appendix D. Credit Data for Commonwealth Countries
Appendix E. Methodology for Depth of Credit Information

References and bibliography

About the contributors Expand or collapse me

Vanessa Erogbogbo (Author)

Vanessa Erogbogbo is an independent consultant with over 12 years’ experience in development finance.

Esther Eghobamien (Author)

Esther Eghobamien is the Interim Director, Social Transformation Programmes Division (STPD) and Head of Gender at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Elizabeth Pimentel (Author)

Elizabeth Pimentel is an independent consultant working in the policy and practice areas related to issues of gender and gender equality.