On November 28, EMpower participated in Asian Venture Philanthropy Network’s (AVPN) third edition of its India Summit in Bengaluru. A rich pool of philanthropists, corporations, impact investors, financial institutions, policymakers and capacity builders convened at the summit to collectively exchange perspectives and key insights about the dynamic socio-economic challenges that India is grappling with.
At the event, Alifya Loharchalwala, EMpower’s Senior Program Officer for India, emphasized the urgency of investing in adolescent girls to build financially independent young women in the foreseeable future. Alifya was on a panel designed to create dialogue around actionable Gender Lens Investing (GLI) models across the capital spectrum in India. Under the ambit of sustainable investing, GLI has gained considerable momentum in the past decade as an approach that seeks to develop functional investment strategies to benefit women.
The panel brought together diverse players from responsible business, impact investment, philanthropy and NGOs to represent the supply and demand sides of GLI such as Bengaluru-based venture capital fund Menterra Venture Advisors, women rights organization Breakthrough, and rural women’s financial empowerment nonprofit Mann Deshi.
Taking the evidence that investing in the advancement of girls and women yields social and financial returns as the point of departure, the panel discussion focused on:
While data was presented to explain why it makes economic sense to use a gender lens while investing, Alifya urged everyone to look beyond a purely good-for-economy approach and understand that it is important to invest in resource-intensive projects that may or may not yield financial benefits. She said that in its support of work with young people, especially adolescent girls, EMpower recognizes the systemic imbalances and institutional inequalities we are dealing with. The other points that Alifya raised were:
Check out photos from the GLI panel here! Know more about how EMpower amplifies the voices of girls and advances girl leadership in India through the Girls Advisory Council and the Adolescent Girls Learning Communities.
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