Gender Smart | May 23, 2023

2X Challenge mobilizes $27 billion for women and girls’ economic resilience and inclusion

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, May 23 – Development finance institutions of the G7 set a small but significant goal five years ago: within two years, invest $3 billion with a deliberate lens benefitting women and girls in emerging and frontier markets. The organizations invested nearly $7 billion and mobilized an additional $4.5 billion from other public and private entities for gender-lens investing.

The initiative’s exponential growth has continued: $16.3 billion flowed to more than 470 businesses run by or serving women since 2021.

“The 2X Challenge has played a pivotal role in demonstrating the business and impact case of investing with a gender lens,” said Lori Kerr of FinDev Canada, one of 2X Challenge’s founding DFIs.

The development and pace of the gender-lens movement is more significant than the 2X money milestone. DFIs collectively manage more than $6 trillion in capital worldwide. 2X Challenge has given global investors a lens, framework, metrics and goals to mobilize capital to women and girls, whose economic empowerment impacts nearly all of the Sustainable Development Goals.

A growing focus now is investing at the intersection of women and climate.

Next up

A new 2X financial target will be announced later this year. Also in the works is a certification process for 2X investors, to push gender-lens investing “beyond self-assessments and increase transparency on what good, better and best-in-class looks,” said Jessica Espinoza of 2X Global, which orchestrates the 2X Challenge.