TOKYO, April 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Atsushi Sunami) signed an agreement committing to invest USD 3 million in Women’s World Banking Capital Partners (WWBCP) II. WWBCPII aims to improve women’s financial inclusion through a blended approach, by leveraging concessional equity to attract commercial investors to invest in women-focused financial services providers in emerging markets, including low-income countries and fragile states. The fund will leverage Women’s World Banking’s considerable experience developing best practices and delivering technical assistance, thereby improving the performance of portfolio Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) and facilitating the scale of their impactful operations.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) continues to support projects that empower women to achieve gender equality in society, in accordance with SPF’s five priority goals. This investment in WWBCPII is part of the foundation’s impact investment portfolio through the Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF).
Itsu Adachi, Executive Director, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
"There are still approximately 1.7 billion people in the world who are ‘unbanked,’ meaning they do not have access to bank accounts or financial services. Women, in particular, have difficulty in accessing financial services because they do not have bank accounts or assets that can serve as collateral, making it difficult for them to develop their own livelihoods and enterprises. We at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation believe that it is imperative that women are able to access financial institutions and appropriate financial services. WWBCPII aims to promote efforts to improve women’s access to finance, thereby reducing poverty and empowering women economically in the region. This is precisely the goal of SPF’s Asia Women’s Impact Fund (AWIF). We look forward to WWBCPII being a strong partner in creating a positive social impact as well as effectively managing its assets. The foundation will continue to promote gender lens investing and women’s economic empowerment through AWIF."
Christina Juhasz, Chief Investment Officer of Women’s World Banking Asset Management
"We are so grateful that the Sasakawa Peace Foundation is partnering with us to help close the gender gap in financial inclusion and create employment and leadership opportunities for women in our portfolio companies. We admire SPF’s leadership in promoting gender equality and empowerment and look forward to engaging together to further our common goals."
SPF’s Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF)
In 2017, SPF announced the formation of the Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF), which aims to invest up to USD 100 million from its endowment to work towards a future where all women in Asia are empowered to reach their full potential. The fund aims to realize this vision by making investments to achieve favorable outcomes for women across Asia and to support women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. For additional information, please visit: https://www.spf.org/awif/
Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking designs and invests in financial solutions, institutions, and policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. With a global reach of 62 partners in 35 countries serving more than 138 million women clients, Women’s World Banking drives impact through its scalable, market-driven solutions; gender lens private equity fund; and leadership and diversity programs. To learn more, visit womensworldbanking.org.