Bermuda financiers and public sector workers equipped with gender-smart investment knowledge
01 June 2023
Seventeen participants from the Government, local financial institutions and the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation are now trained in gender lens investing and public financing policies and instruments for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Bermuda.
Two training workshops were delivered on May 3, 2023 and hosted by UN Women Multi-Country Office – Caribbean, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Multi Country Office in Jamaica, and partners: Development Finance Institute Canada Inc (FinDev Canada), Portland Private Equity and the UNDP Global Gender Team. The overall objective of both workshops was to strengthen the capacity of government experts, and financial institutions to remove the barriers which deny access to financing by women and young people. Government experts learned how to develop a gender sensitive entrepreneurial ecosystem, and investment professionals and fund managers learned how to apply a gender lens throughout the investment cycle.
The training sessions are products of the United Nations Joint SDG Fund funded, Building Back Equal through Innovative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Joint Programme, in partnership with the Governments of The Bahamas and Bermuda.
Public sector participants at the training on appropriate financing policies and instruments for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment/Department of Communications, Bermuda Government
The Hon. Tinée Furbert, JP, MP, Minister of Social Development and Seniors shared, “The training workshops provided to government experts help to ensure the Government of Bermuda is equipped with the knowledge, skill set, and tools required to support the advancement of the ‘Building Back Equal through Innovative Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’ Joint Programme.”
“As the Joint Programme, which aims to empower and advance Bermudians, in particular women and youth, is the first of its kind for Bermuda, the Government remains committed to working closely with UN Women Multi Country Office – Caribbean, UNDP, and private sector representatives to ensure the success of the Joint Programme.”
“We are excited about the programme and look forward to the opportunities that will be provided to our women and youth entrepreneurs so that Bermuda becomes a more equitable society."
The training for financial institutions, led by UN Women and grounded in the Women’s Empowerment Principles and the 2X criteria to ensure financiers learned the business case behind gender-lens investing, was the second held since the launch of the Joint Programme. UN Women Multi Country Office – Caribbean Representative Tonni Ann Brodber noted that the training played a crucial role in a larger framework of UN Women, and the UN system, to mobilise more capital towards gender equality and strengthen the asset managers contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Brodber said: “UN Women understands that financiers play a critical role in creating an enabling environment for women’s and youth’s full engagement in economic growth. An understanding of the barriers to women’s full engagement in the formal economy, in particular unpaid care responsibilities, and those faces by youth must be addressed if we hope to support economic growth and achieve sustainable development in the Caribbean.”
With McKinsey Global Institute finding that by closing the economic gender gap, there could be an estimated increase of $28 trillion to the global gross domestic product (GDP) by the year 2025, gender lens investing is paramount for the Caribbean’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crises and inclusive and sustainable development.
This recovery is compounded by a persisting and narrowing gender gap in access to financing in developing countries, which has declined from nine percent to 4 percent, according to the latest data from a World Bank report.
Participants at the Gender Lens Investing Training/Department of Communications, Bermuda Government
In her charge to participants, UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio encouraged continuous strengthening of public/private partnerships to bolster the enabling environment and resource pool for gender equity in financing for the Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) sector.
“Continue to see each other as partners in the mission to establish a gender-sensitive entrepreneurial ecosystem designed to holistically address financing needs while identifying and unleashing potential wherever it exists,” she urged. She said UNDP and the UN looked forward to shining a light on Bermuda’s best practices in innovative financing vehicles, digital platforms and tools which close the financing gap for women and youth.”
The mission also featured courtesy calls with Premier the Hon. E. David Burt; Hon. Tinée Furbert, Ministry of Social Development and Seniors, and consultative meetings with the senior teams at the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) and Gender Affairs Council.