20 - How the Equality Fund is using Impact Investing to Fuel Feminist Futures
Most people don’t automatically look to the public sector for the latest and greatest innovations. However, when it comes to the world of social finance, the public sector is, in many ways, leading the private sector. In our last episode, we explored the world of blended finance – where governments are finding innovative ways to use public funds to drive private sector capital into projects that achieve impact. Another prominent example will be discussed in today’s episode.
Today’s guests Beth Woroniuk, Policy Lead, and Bonnie Foley-Wong, Head of Investment Strategy at the Equality Fund join us to discuss the work they are doing to support grassroots women’s movements in the Global South to advance gender equality. What’s particularly interesting about the Equality Fund’s work is both the manner in which it is tackling Gender Equality but also its genesis. The Equality Fund was seeded in 2019 by a $300 million contribution from Global Affairs Canada, in a first of its kind initiative to stand up a new type of entity that could use the government contribution to achieve not only financial sustainability but also catalyze an even larger commitment of private sector investment capital and philanthropic capital.
During this episode, Beth, Bonnie, and I discuss the origin story of the Equality Fund, the problems it was conceived to solve, its granting versus investment efforts, and the unique governance structure needed to organize its audacious approach. We also discuss the organization’s fundraising strategy and how it plans to crowd in private sector investment capital. And be sure to stay tuned to the end where we discuss the practical challenges of actually deploying $300 million of capital quickly.
You can learn more about the Equality Fund at its website and you can donate to support their work by clicking here. You can also follow the organization on Twitter.
You can connect with Beth on Twitter and Bonnie on Twitter or LinkedIn.