I participated in a conference call today hosted by Criterion Ventures about Women Effect Investments. Criterion Ventures is behind the movement to inspire people to think about investing with a gender lens. Representatives from Calvert’s WIN WIN fund and Root Capital’s Gender Inclusive Initiative both presented their products. The idea being that education is one thing, but if those interested can’t put their money to work following this approach – then what’s the point?
Here are a couple of quick take-aways:
1. Gender investing takes time. Early providers of opportunities to invest with a gender lens originally underestimated the effort to create a thoughtful investment opportunity. Developing the infrastructure, criteria, and measurements all take time.
2. Philanthropy is needed to bridge the gap in funding…to stand behind these early initiatives so that the opportunity set can be brought to a larger audience.
3. Providers have seen a great response to early products promoting investing with a gender lens.
4. The good news is that learning from early product providers is being shared so that future products (and ultimately investors) can benefit from their learning.