BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has joined 2X Global, a global industry group dedicated to increasing the volume and impact of capital directed towards women’s economic empowerment worldwide. CDB’s participation in 2X Global will increase the Bank’s commitment, capacity, and investment in advancing gender equality in the region.
The 2X Global criteria has established the standard for gender lens investing consistent with the Bank’s strategic policy objectives to improve gender equality data collection, scale-up development financing in developing countries for sustainable development, and promote social, economic, and environmental resilience in BMCs with gender equality as a cross-cutting priority.
CDB’s partnership with 2X global will assist the implementation of the bank’s Gender Equality Policy and Operational Strategic Economic Empowerment pillar.
It will also contribute to the tracking and attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) and SDG 13 (climate action). Gender-smart climate finance is a top priority for 2X Global and its members, given the substantial nexus between gender equality and climate goals. The bank’s membership will advance its strategic objectives to build social, economic, and environmental resilience in BMCs.
Isaac Solomon, vice president operations, CDB said that the bank was delighted to join the 2X Global Community.
“We see this as a chance to advance the bank’s mission in the Caribbean, which is to reduce poverty and transform lives through resilient, sustainable, and inclusive development. As the region’s development bank and champions of gender-lens investing, we are excited to share our knowledge, lessons learned, and dedication to advancing gender-lens investing in the Caribbean. We also anticipate learning from other members to advance innovative and sustainable financial tools and solutions that will reach those who have the greatest need,” Solomon said.
Jessica Espinoza, CEO of 2X Global welcomed the bank to the organisation:
“We’re really pleased to welcome the CDB and we’re looking forward to working with them to deepen and widen the field of gender lens investing in the Caribbean and globally. Their membership underscores our shared commitment to advancing gender equity and inclusive finance and presents a great opportunity for mutual learning and collaboration,” Espinoza said.
The bank has prioritised gender equality throughout its portfolio and in both public and private development financing. CDB’s recent investment in Portland Equity Fund III complements previous interventions targeted at the financial sector including 2019 partnership efforts with DFIs in the Caribbean to strengthen gender mainstreaming policies and institutional capacities towards an ecosystem for gender-lens investing.
CDB also has a track record of designing, financing, and executing interventions to assist women-owned and led MSMEs across the productive sectors. Through the Bank’s Private Sector Unit, targeted support to women-led firms has been facilitated with the implementation of the Caribbean Technological Consultancy Services (CTCS) Programme, Standby Facility and the Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).
Since its launch in 2018, more than 60 percent of CIIF-funded initiatives are businesses headed by women. Recognising the need to boost women’s participation in technology and the increased vulnerability of the region to natural hazards and disasters, the CDB launched an incubator programme to assist Caribbean women entrepreneurs with developing locally appropriate solutions to climate-related concerns.
The bank also recently launched the Caribbean SheTrades Hub in collaboration with the International Trade Centre which will facilitate innovative business and investment opportunities for women-led businesses, resulting in a stronger regional ecosystem that will benefit every woman across the Caribbean equally. The bank will continue to create initiatives to boost the Caribbean investment ecosystem through a gender lens. The CDB and 2X Global are currently exploring initiatives to deepen their collaboration and strengthen gender-lens investing in the Caribbean region.