Agents of Impact Call No. 45: Creative capital for gender-smart investments (video). Capital to support women’s economic growth and financial inclusion is picking up – finally! – in many advanced economies. In emerging markets, female fund managers still really struggle to raise their first funds. On The Call, fund managers from South Africa, Mexico and Tunisia shared their challenges in getting investors to value their expertise and investment strategies. “We are overtrained and over-mentored and underfunded,” said Lelemba Phiri of Africa Trust Group, which is supporting women entrepreneurs and fund managers in South Africa. “We need the conversation to move from, ‘We believe in this and we think it's something that can make a difference,’ to really putting your money where your mouth is.” Highlights from the conversation:
The Week’s Dealflow
Deal spotlight: Small business lending in emerging markets. Small and medium-sized enterprises create a majority of jobs and contribute up to 40% of annual GDP in many emerging markets. Access to financing remains a major barrier for growth. In Uganda, Numida raised $12.3 million in equity and debt to provide unsecured working capital loans of as little as $100. Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures led the round, which attracted Launch Africa, Soma Capital, MFS Africa, Lendable and Y Combinator. In Peru, Wolet secured $2 million in debt funding, led by Lima-based fund manager Acorde, to expand lending services to small businesses.
The Week’s Talent
Heather Zichal, the former CEO of the American Clean Power Association, joins JPMorgan as global head of sustainability… Micheline Ntiru, ex- of Stanford University accelerator Stanford Seed, joins Convergence as its Africa lead… Meg Massey, ex- of Chloe Capital, will join Upaya Social Ventures as director of strategy outreach… Kickstarter appoints Everette Taylor, ex- of Artsy, as CEO… Lisa Woll, who has served as CEO of US SIF for nearly 17 years, will step down on Jan. 31, 2023.
The Week’s Jobs
Catalytic Capital Consortium, or C3, is hiring a remote program officer for grantmaking… The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeks a senior program officer for solution delivery in Seattle… The Rockefeller Foundation is recruiting a manager of innovative finance in New York… Also in New York, Syntax Indices is looking for an ESG associate… The Schmidt Family Foundation is hiring a senior associate for impact investing in San Francisco or Los Angeles.