5-6 JUNE 2018 / Tour & Taxis / Brussels

Gender gains as an integral benefit from investment

Can community development be bankable? – let’s hear from the field

Lab debate
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
09:30 to 10:45

Crowding in the private sector to deliver the sustainable development goals is key. Clean energy, electricity, water are all important enablers for development and these projects can also deliver good outcomes for women if we are open to women-specific issues.  We would like to share with you some practical examples from the field, for example on how a renewable energy project got combined with trainings in relation to maternal and child health activities, hugely beneficial to the women and girls living in that remote area. And we would like to hear from the successful female-led fund EcoEnterprises on how they deliver portfolio results while generating fair and sustainable livelihoods for local communities, including women and girls. Let’s learn from the field and discuss the nexus is between climate and gender and how this can be further supported in the External Investment Plan or through EU-supported public private partnerships such as GEEREF.

Key points

  • Evidence is building that investment using gender equality and eco criteria can be profitable and socially beneficial.
  • Better data collection and use of metrics are needed to demonstrate progress to both communities and investors.
  • Communities must be involved at all levels to make such projects succeed and be sustainable.
  • Helping to educate female adolescents is key.
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB) is leading the way to expand gender-equality and eco-friendly projects.


Progress over 20 years by specialist investors focused on gender-equality and environment goals alongside good financial returns, is showing a success rate that is attracting more investors.

The pioneering EcoEnterprises Fund has created a model which demonstrates that investing with eco- and gender-supporting investment can make a good return.

The fund encourages the inclusion of women in senior management. It promotes community involvement. All parties must be part of the venture to create the product and ensure access to the markets.

EcoEnterprises is now raising its third investment fund. Its first fund focused on seed investments that formed the credibility base for launching a larger second fund which has recorded a net internal rate of return (IRR) close to 10 per cent which is impressive to investors. Its third fund is looking to invest in larger projects with turnover of more than USD 1 million.

Frontier Energy, the leading investor in energy market


Momentum is building to prove that investment with gender-equality and eco-friendly criteria can be profitable and sustainable.

Organised by


Yvon Slingenberg
Director, Directorate A
European Commission - DG for Climate Action
Heidi Hautala
European Parliament
Tammy Newmark
CEO & Managing Partner
EcoEnterprises Fund
Annicent Busingye
Frontier Energy
Aglaé Touchard le Drian
Senior Investment Manager
European Investment Bank (EIB)