Building Back Equal through Innovative Financing for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment
Despite Bahamas and Bermuda relatively high GDP per capita levels women and youth continue to be disproportionally left behind. A 2015 study noted that in the Caribbean women entrepreneurs account for only 8% of the entire labor force with only 1% of those women entrepreneurs having employees. Recognizing that financial inclusion is a precursor for the women’s economic empowerment through entrepreneurship this multi-country project is intended to pilot innovative financing for gender equality. It will enable The Bahamas and Bermuda to not only build back equal post COVID-19 but to also be best practice examples to showcase how innovative financing vehicles, digital platforms, and the tools and frameworks of the Women’s Empowerment Principles can be leveraged to close the financing gaps that women and youth face in sectors such as agriculture, sustainable tourism, and creative and cultural industries.
The objective of the joint programme is to pilot innovative financing tools for gender equality to enable female entrepreneurs in The Bahamas and Bermuda to access additional capital, reduce risks and accelerate SDG achievement. A mix of interrelated solutions is proposed to target the structural causes hindering public and private investments towards women and young entrepreneurs. The $30 million Caribbean Basin Gender Equality Fund (CBGEF) will improve financial inclusion in the region by identifying and investing convertible debt, revenue-based financing, equity, or quasi equity in innovative and impactful women owed/led businesses in the Caribbean. The Gender Equitable Finance and Accelerator Platform, a technical assistance and business development platform, will be the primary channel of investable ventures for due dilligence and subsequent investment of CBGEF. Through this platform the screened pipeline will be able to benefit from concessional capital or other blended finance capital to improve the readiness and/or the financial structuring of their businesses to be more attractive to impact investors. Finally, global best Impact Measurement and Management Practices will be embedded into the financial solutions operations and investee companies activities to monitor the achievement of gender equality.
UN-Women, FAO,UNESCO, UNDP
Bahamas Development Bank , Ministry of Social Development and Senior of Bermuda