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Contributing to gender equality at scale, one investment at a time

estrategia de inclusión de género

Since the launch of our first impact investment fund in 2018, ALIVE has been committed to driving gender equality in every aspect of our work. We do this both because it is the right thing to do – women in Latin America continue to face systemic, ingrained discrimination, particularly in low-income communities – and because it makes business sense.

From our own recruitment and organizational practices to the initial stages of deal sourcing to the ongoing management of our portfolio companies, we prioritize having a gender diverse workforce and an inclusive work culture.

This commitment has helped us build a workforce that is majority female and build a portfolio of companies in our first fund which is 100% 2X compliant. As we launch and begin investing our second fund, we will strive to do the same.

Integrating a gender perspective even prior to investment

Both for ALIVE and for our portfolio companies, we understand that diverse teams lead to better decision-making, creativity, and overall performance. That's why in our investment work we actively seek out women-owned and women-led businesses, tapping into women's business networks and accelerator programs to increase the representation of gender-inclusive companies in our pipeline.

With that said, our investment decision-making isn’t based on gender. We seek out investment opportunities led by extraordinary entrepreneurs, women and men, and conduct thorough due diligence to assess a company's commitment to gender equality and its potential for impact.

By incorporating a gender integration assessment into our due diligence process, we ensure that gender equality is not just another box to tick on our checklist, but a core value that guides our investment decisions.

Transforming the gender inclusion practices in our portfolio

Once we've made an investment, our work on gender equality truly begins. With all our portfolio companies, we conduct gender-focused technical assistance projects to improve gender outcomes within the company and across their value chains. This work is tailored to the needs and context of each company and can be focused both internally – employees, operations, governance – and externally – product development, customer service, etc.

For example, one of our first fund’s portfolio companies implemented a variety of inclusive recruitment practices and transformed the gender balance of their workforce, increasing women’s representation by 13%, from 25% to 38%, in less than a year and increasing representation of women on its Board of Directors from zero to 40%.

Overall, gender-focused technical assistance combined with the ongoing support of our investment team helps portfolio companies internalize gender equality strategies and embed them into their operations.

In our first fund, this work has helped transform gender outcomes across the portfolio. At the time of investment, about 70% of portfolio companies were 2X compliant. Today, 100% have become compliant thanks to the work of our portfolio team and the gender-smart technical assistance projects. Across all companies, this work has helped achieve 11 more of the 2X criteria that were not met at the time of investment.

Our commitment goes beyond our investment processes

In addition to our hands-on accompaniment of portfolio companies, ALIVE is also committed to sharing with the impact investing ecosystem learnings, best practices, and research-based recommendations for other investors and companies who wish to incorporate gender-smart strategies into their operations.

In 2023, we published two first-of-their-kind gender research reports, focusing on evidence-based recommendations for companies to close gender gaps in Education and Human Resources value chains, improving access to educational tools and opportunities for career advancement for women across Latin America.

Through this ongoing gender research, our intentional investment strategies centered around gender inclusion, and our proactive portfolio company engagement focused on gender-smart business practices, we hope to not only drive financial returns but also continue to contribute to systemic change for women across Latin America.