According to the IFC 2021 report, Investing in Women: New Evidence for the Business Case, the gap between male and female employment rates has closed by only 0.6 percentage points over the last two decades. The financing gap for women entrepreneurs remains at an estimated $285 billion. Inequities between men and women have been exacerbated due to the lingering effects of the global financial crisis. This underscores the private sector’s need to take the lead in supporting gender intelligent business solutions.
Kenya Climate Ventures Limited (KCV) applies a gender lens in its entire investment process. Not only do we seek to accelerate the development of climate-smart solutions by supporting early and growth-stage businesses, but we also emphasize the significance and contribution that women make to these businesses.
KCV is keen on expanding and strengthening women’s participation in leadership, directly as employees or indirectly as part of the workforce along a supply chain.
While investing, KCV reviews the business ownership and how it provides opportunities to women across the entire value chain. Women-led or owned businesses tick the investment box much faster.
To date, 43 % of businesses that KCV has supported are women-owned. 40% of these businesses are women-led.
Women also hold significant leadership positions in the portfolio companies KCV supports. For example, Good Farmland Management provided and sustained nine manager positions for women. At the same time, Exotic EPZ limited has three women on its board of directors, with 131 jobs created for women. Six hundred and fifty-two women and youth have benefitted from the investment support KCV has given Rafode Limited.
Women-led businesses have also positively impacted households and communities. Mace Foods Limited has 89% of rural households benefiting from their efforts. On the other hand, Exotic EPZ Limited and Onja Uone have 100% rural households benefiting from sustainable activity. Additionally, Dash Crop supports over 4,000 farmers to access markets for their produce.
In 2021, KCV’s investments created and sustained 450 jobs for women, amounting to 52% of the total employment opportunities created and sustained. Through KCV’s support, 26,672 households had access to markets and clean and affordable cooking and lighting solutions by 2021.
Through its investments, KCV aims to transform market systems to create more opportunities for women. KCV will continue to invest with a gender lens to ensure the benefits of climate investments continue to accrue to women.