Fundación WWB Colombia Blends Theory and Practice in the GLI Ecosystem
1 December, 2022
During the GLI Forum LatAm 2022, we chatted with Daniela Konietzo, President of the Fundación WWB Colombia, about the organization’s more than 40 years of working towards gender equality for Colombian women and girls.
To accomplish its objectives, WWB Colombia focuses on three main areas: People— strengthening the skills of women entrepreneurs, Knowledge—producing valuable research with strategic allies, and gender lens investing (GLI).
Pro Mujer was delighted to interview Daniela Konietzo to hear her perspective as a GLI expert and learn more about WWB Colombia’s history and some of the lessons learned from her participation in a panel session during the GLI Forum.
What were your main takeaways from the panel “Gender Lens Investing in Latin America: A Practical Approach?”
My biggest takeaway from the panel was the importance of integrating theory with real, practical cases that allow us to understand the how behind GLI success stories. We need to know the stories and situations that have worked for different funds and investors.
One of the other things that resonated with me the most was the importance of creating more opportunities to connect and have these conversations so that we, as investors, are able to understand each other better and incorporate a gender lens into the entire capital continuum, from strategic and market-rate investments to microfinance and impact investing.
How did WWB Colombia get involved in gender lens investing?
The Fundación WWB Colombia has 40 years of track record working to support women’s economic empowerment. During the first 30 years, we focused on microloans to increase women’s financial inclusion in vulnerable economic conditions. For the past 10 years, we have been reinventing ourselves and working to identify what these women need beyond financial products and services. We are looking to offer non-financial products and services that complement our existing products and services, help close the inequality gap, and support women’s active participation in the economic development of Colombia.
In 2013, we invested in an impact investing fund that invests in microfinance around the world. Over time, we began to understand better what the gender perspective means, and today we are investors in impact investing funds with a gender lens, and we seek to ensure that more and more investments incorporate a gender lens as part of their efforts to achieve financial returns along with more significant social impact.
What are the gender lens investing opportunities in Colombia?
Colombia represents an enormous opportunity. This is a topic that has been talked about for a few years in the country; I think there is more and more interest from entrepreneurs and investors—both institutional and private—and it’s great that we continue to have these conversations in Colombia and in other Latin American countries to continue to amplify the impact of these investments.
What are your thoughts on the GLI Forum LatAm 2022?
We at the Fundación WWB are delighted to have been able to attend the GLI Forum LatAm 2022 in person. The first day of the event was truly spectacular—the venue is incredible, and it brings together all of Latin America in all its astonishing diversity. We attended some very interesting panels and conversations covering a wide range of topics, and this diversity really feeds the conversations that are being had about gender lens investing. It was a lovely first day, and we are very excited about the event.