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Investing in African Women Will Yield Outsize Returns

Even as public and private financial institutions trumpet their commitment to impact investing, they are locking women-owned businesses out of their funding streams. The result is lower returns, slower economic growth, and fewer net social benefits.

LUSAKA – The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was “Invest in women – accelerate progress.” It was simultaneously an observation, a promise, and a call to action. In fact, investment in women is essential to build the positive “impact economies” that are envisioned in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which comprises the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Such economies boast robust and equitable growth, reflect and support social progress, and meet environmental-sustainability imperatives.