Letter from Inez: April 2021

Tuesday 27th April 2021

In This Issue
Spotlight on: Data-driven inclusion

Last week, the first Investing In Women Code report, which tracks the volume of financing to female entrepreneurs from banks, VCs, angels and others, was published in the UK. Since the launch of the Investing in Women Code in July 2019, circa 100 UK banks and other financial services providers have joined as signatories. This first report is an important line in the sand, establishing an important baseline for measuring the success of this national effort to close the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

This public/private effort was spearheaded by UK Treasury and NatWest and was based on the Rose Review, an excellent piece of analysis into creating a female friendly entrepreneurial ecosystem in the UK. This was then followed by a highly participatory process involving many ecosystem actors, including competitors, to come up with a set of recommendations, the first of which is to agree to track the financing data, appoint an internal Champion and adopt internal practices to support female entrepreneurs.

This is a model that should be replicated in other jurisdictions. To that end, the Alliance is bringing this to the attention of the CEOs in our network during each of two CEO Roundtables in 2021 so that they take action. We’re also integrating it into our work with the Women’s Financial Inclusion Data Partnership, which is developing national strategies for gender disaggregated data in six emerging markets.

Data shines light on the size of the opportunity and the business case and also builds accountability. Alliance members measure their performance in women’s markets by tracking data and each year reporting it to us. We then aggregate and publish it our annual Economics of Banking on Women report. We also provide members with individualized benchmarking reports so they can compare themselves to regional and global players. Just shy of 70 percent of members have reported, and we hope to improve on that number this year. Members, please look out for the data request in your inbox now.

On May 14, we launch our Fintech Fridays series, which brings together fintechs and incumbents to learn and to network. This first session focuses on the business case for women’s economic advancement with speakers from OpenPayd, Rapyd and Natwest. The aim of this series is to create awareness among fintechs of opportunities in the female economy, showcase innovations from both fintechs and incumbents and support business development on both sides. These sessions are open to non-members. You can see a calendar of all our peer learning events at one glance here.

This month we extend a very warm welcome to our newest member, Banco Solidario Ecuador, the country’s largest bank specializing in financing micro-enterprises. We interview Fidel Durán, CEO, about what the data is telling him about female customers and employees — and it turns out that women in the sales team outperform their male counterparts.

We also want to give a shout out to all of our members who shared their activities in this month’s network news roundup, inspiring us all in our data-driven journey toward full economic inclusion. Thank you all.

In community,