Investing for Systems Change with Women at the Center

Investing for Systems Change with Women at the Center 150 150 Sophie Clark

At WoWE, systems change that places women at the center of a high growth future is the beating heart of our work, our organizing thesis.

Investing for Systems Change with Women at the Center

A note from Patience Marime-Ball,

As we celebrate WoWE’s third year anniversary, I have become increasingly convinced that the path forward for our society and our global economy must place women fully at the center of driving solutions accelerating challenges. The code red challenges of COVID and climate have flashed warning signals of our dire need for more resilient communities, of the fragility of our healthcare systems and our global economies, and of the ongoing inequities caused by our decades-long struggle to achieve social justice.

What we have also seen is that women are playing increasingly vital roles as the changemakers that are lifting up our society – as leaders, as entrepreneurs, and as participants in our economy at every level. And yet, women still lack equal access to the levers of capital and decision-making that can accelerate their abilities to realize their full potential as contributors to a better future for all.

In spite of the urgency of these issues – or, rather, because of them – we find ourselves looking ahead with optimism and a newfound clarity about the way forward both at WoWE and for our society. The magnitude of our challenges call for big thinking and even bolder action. To rise to the occasion we must completely rethink how we leverage all of the tools in our financial toolbox to power the economy of tomorrow in ways that create a more resilient environment and equitable society. As challenges accelerate, we must accelerate our trajectory towards real systems change.

At WoWE, systems change that places women at the center of a high growth future is the beating heart of our work, our organizing thesis.

On the investment side, systems change means building an intersectional portfolio that centralizes the role of women. We are creating a playbook and an investment portfolio that can demonstrate to mainstream capital markets investors that a gender intersectional strategy can deliver superior returns whether looking through a sustainability lens of fossil fuel free, deforestation-free, private prison-free and more. We embrace complexity while investing in the tools that will reduce the friction in the marketplace so that investment capital can crowd in.

For these reasons, I am excited that we will be celebrating with you and sharing more details around our portfolio and our work throughout WoWE’s birthday month. And, to also announce our partnership and investment in Ethos ESG. Ethos is a software service that offers customized ESG data and analytics to financial advisors, fund managers, institutions, and investors. Its platform aggregates millions of data points from hundreds of sources to create impact metrics and ratings for dozens of causes, such as climate change, gender equity, racial justice and more, giving investors a much better understanding of the impact of their allocations.

In Europe and in Asia Pacific, we are witnessing the growth of sustainability regulations, these will be commonplace for more geographies soon. We want these investment regulations to centralize the role of women changemakers. Our investment in Ethos ESG is an opportunity to influence the investor ecosystem to put women fully at the center.

We also recently co-invested in San Francisco-based Kyte, a new kind of app-based rental car company that leapfrogs the booming ride-sharing sector while simultaneously promoting better climate outcomes (you no longer need to own a car), and better gender safety outcomes (they’ll bring the car to you and pick it up).

Ethos and Kyte are good examples of the kinds of companies we seek to invest in: exciting enterprises bringing innovative, intersectional solutions with strong financial returns and impact outcomes.

On the grant side WoWE continues to pursue maximal impact, channeling our resources to the female solutions drivers involved in building the systems and innovations that are transforming our society in ways that enable all, including women and girls, to achieve their full potential as participants in our social and economic fabric.

We will soon be announcing a partnership and grant investment with a global organization that  is working in Haiti to eradicate poverty. The organization enables citizens in some of the world’s most challenged communities to take the lead in building economic resilience in their communities through increased language and financial literacy programs. Our grant will support early-age education, adult literacy, community challenges mapping, and seed funding for a loan and savings scheme to fuel local entrepreneurial activity. At least 50 percent of the changemakers across the value chain of this community-led work are women and girls.  WoWE is inspired by the systems transformative work of this organization.

These are just some of the many important initiatives that our team at WoWE is driving forward. We continue to build a 100% mission-aligned investment portfolio and the necessary investment strategies and tools, including our collaboration with CHIP at the University of Pennsylvania. The collaboration developed foundational data for a sovereign debt scoring methodology to promote more government spending for “infrastructure” that enables female citizens to equally thrive. While our organization may still be in its early-stages, our ambition is outsized! True systems change calls for nothing less.

With gratitude and best wishes for good health,

Patience Marime-Ball
Founder and CEO of Women of the World Endowment

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