Beyond 2021 kicks off SEA’s exclusive training program in gender lens investing
Hanoi: Sponsored by Australian Aid and Frontiers Lab Asia, “Beyond 2021: Investing across borders and innovation” kicks off its joint training program co-led by internationally recognised investor networks, incubators, and accelerators across Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Vietnam. The first-of-its-kind program will last from 8th to 9th September, aiming to provide angel investors across South and Southeast Asia with a broad spectrum of gender lens investing (GLI) opportunities as an alternative path to diversify and leverage cross-border capital allocation.
Canada-based incubator-cum-accelerator Spring Activator, Indonesia’s largest angel investors network ANGIN, Philippine early-stage impact incubator Villgro, Pakistan’s first female-led venture capital fund Invest2lnnovate, and Vietnam- based ecosystem builder KisStartup, will host the program activities in the Southeast Asia region.
Gender lens investing helps alleviate gender inequalities and extend access to capital for women entrepreneurs in a male-dominated market. By financing women-led businesses, investors can actually facilitate positive social impact while earning great returns.
According to Pitchbook, only 9% of venture capitalists are female, while the proportion of investment flow into women-led business is lower at 2.3% in America and 2.2% in Europe. However, Project Sage 3.0 of Wharton Social Impact Initiative reported that firms investing with a gender lens raised approximately US$4.8 billion in 2019, more than double the amount raised in 2018.
Even though GLI investors still encounter challenges, the opportunities of scaling up and growth have motivated them to take up the new investment approaches, especially in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The three countries accounted for 80% of gender-lens investment (GLI) deal volume in the region, 85% of which came from angel investors, according to a report co-published by Investing In Women and Value For Women in March.
Capitalising on these understandings, the Beyond 2021 program consists of 4 stages, including the Beyond 2021 Summit kick-off event, calling applications, main training program, and demo-day. Its objectives are to fuel local and cross-border co-investment with investors around the world and to connect investors with women-led ventures in South and Southeast Asia to increase capital access and financial equality. At the same time, a global community of like-minded investors can gather to create impact through early-stage investment.
“This program is powerful for investors because it actually provides multiple benefits. Participants will be seeing a couple of fantastic investment opportunities of highly-representative potential companies that are not only cross-border but also women-led ventures. Investors could learn the tips and tricks and the how-to process that enable them to benefit from investment in women-led ventures that actually show financial returns and also do good for their communities,” said Keith Ippel, Program Lead of Beyond 2021, co-founder and CEO of Spring Activator.
The 3-day program includes training, networking, and coaching for angel investors in South and Southeast Asia in three main topics: Cross Border Co-Investing, Sourcing & Screening, and Due Diligence. Participants will get round to qualified deal flow through case studies and working models. The training sessions are also combined with extensive networking (group and 1-on-1) opportunities. This is where guest speakers and subject matter experts from local and cross-border investor communities will be giving their inspiring speeches to the audience. Last but not least, the format of in-country 1-on-1 coaching will be applied to maximise the engagement during group sessions and even when participants leave the series.
“When investors leave our series, they will have opportunities to connect and meet amazing women-led ventures in Southeast Asia who are investment-ready, and they will also have a global community of like-minded investors who are wanting to make an impact, through local and cross-border collaboration,” said Luan Tolosa, Project Manager of Beyond 2021, director of Strategy & Operations at Spring Activator.