winwin

There seems to be a strong global pattern emerging that focuses on women as the leaders of behavior change, by providing them with gender-targeted efforts and resources. I have been hearing about this mostly among the world of farming and food; however, it is now appearing in entrepreneurship and even alternative transportation circles. The article, "Women Funding Women Opens the Door to Responsible Investing," by Alex Goldmark for GOOD, highlights two main benefits of these specific initiatives: “women entrepreneurs reinvest in their communities more than men who earn the same amount, creating a bigger multiplier effect. In some cases, women have proven more productive: when women own the same amount of land as men, for example, their crop yield is about 10 percent higher.”

Being a woman makes me a little biased, but I wholeheartedly believe that the personality traits that have been stereotypically oppressive to women in the past, are in fact, what makes them the game-changers in society. As groups are discovering this power and reach, they are finding ways to fund women specifically. This is what WIN-WIN, the Women Investing In Women Initiative, is doing. The idea was created by the Calvert Foundation to fund businesses that improve womens’ lives by targeting women investors. “We are trying to popularize impact investing to make it accessible to everyone,” says Lisa Hall, the Calvert Foundation's CEO. “There is power in the purse. [Women are] not a totally ignored audience... but in the world of impact investing there has not been that much done to bring them in.” The concept of micro-lending or community funded is also becoming a trend now, but WIN-WIN has set up a unique structure that makes it accessible to a wider audience: “some put up as much as $50,000, others paid as little as $20[…]though brokers face a $1,000 minimum buy-in, casual investors can invest online through Microplace. In this low-interest rate environment, that makes WIN-WIN a feasible alternative to a savings account—as long as you don't plan to touch the money for between one and five years.” With this approach, GOOD comments, “that kind of hybrid plan might represent the first wave of low-barrier impact investments for everyday folks as the industry takes shape and starts to dream bigger.” I hope this platform truly does inspire women to make socially-minded investments that better the lives of other women in need–it has undoubtedly captured my attention and motivated me to invest in my fellow woman-kind!

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