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"2XChallenge" to empower women in developing countries.

If you haven’t heard of the 2X Challenge, you will soon. Announced during the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix, Quebec, it’s a call for development finance institutions (DFIs) to collectively mobilize $3 billion in commitments that provide women in developing countries with improved access to leadership opportunities, quality employment, finance and enterprise support.

As investors in businesses that provide exactly these services, Deetken Impact is keenly interested in how this capital is deployed. This is a potentially transformational opportunity to change the lives of women and girls in developing countries.

Canada’s Endorsement and Role

Importantly, Canada has accepted the 2X Challenge. But can we deliver? Clearly there is strong alignment philosophically; Canada has become a global champion of gender equality and has formally committed to a feminist international assistance policy. However, until very recently Canada didn’t have a DFI to actually operationalize this commitment.

We are seeing lots of progress in the right direction. Firstly, in early 2018, Canada formally launched its own DFI, FinDev Canada, and has hired experienced management. This includes CEO Paul Lamontagne, previously with Capafrica and CIBC Global Markets, and CIO Suzanne Gaboury, previously a Global Director of FMO (Netherlands DFI) and a Managing Director of Cordiant Capital. So far, FinDev has completed one transaction, a US$10MM investment in M-KOPA, a Kenya-based company that provides pay-as-you-go energy for off-grid homes.

In addition, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has announced ‘’a new partnership to fund gender equality and empower women and girls’’ including a financial commitment of $300 million. The partnership is still at the consultation stage, and Deetken Impact looks forward to working closely with GAC as well as like-minded organizations from the private and philanthropic sectors to drive this initiative forward.

Women picking beans in El Salvador.

Women picking beans in El Salvador.

Our Two Cents

As a private sector investment firm with a focus on making an impact, we have identified a few key principles which we believe can help unlock more private capital, scale the partnership, enhance sustainability and maximize social impact.

1. Investing for impact is “high-touch’’. One thing we’ve learned in 10 years of impact investing is that identifying and supporting businesses that truly make a difference for women and girls is about real relationships and regular in-person contact, as well as well-developed networks and partnerships with other businesses in the region. Wherever possible, we think the 2X funds should leverage the skills and experience of local asset managers with a proven track record of success, and who have the capacity and capability to closely manage the investments on the ground to ensure continued alignment.

2. Bigger isn’t always better. With $3 billion to invest, it’s probably tempting to focus on investments in larger companies and projects. But we see tremendous opportunity for gender-informed investments in small and mid-cap companies across developing countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, for example, a credit cooperative that is developing an app to help women clients address gender-based violence through connection to local counselling services. Or a water delivery company that has chosen to train 100% women drivers in a livelihood typically reserved for men. These small and mid-size businesses often have the tailored approach and trust required to get buy-in and spark social change.

3. It’s not just about the clients. Although businesses which focus on well-designed products and services for women clients can certainly help to foster equality and empowerment, we believe strongly that gender lens investing must take a 360-degree view. That means looking for investment opportunities that ‘’walk the walk’’ with women in senior management, women on the board, and women investors. These can be crucial indicators that the commitment to equality and empowerment is firm and truly embedded throughout the organization.

We are excited to see Canada’s strong endorsement of the 2X Challenge. We look forward to working together to make more capital and other resources available for investments that foster gender equality and drive transformative change in the power dynamics between women and men.

 


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Magali Lamyin, Director of Communications and Development for Deetken Impact

MAGALI LAMYIN

Director of Communications and Development

 

Magali brings extensive market intelligence, business development and marketing experience from her work at the Central Bank of Mexico, the Canadian Institute for Market Intelligence, and the IESE-PWC e-Business Centre in Barcelona. She also co-led national marketing campaigns for businesses in the hospitality and early childhood education sectors for almost a decade before joining Deetken. In her current role, she is responsible for leading Deetken Impact’s communications, marketing and branding strategy. She is also involved in the due diligence process for project selection with an emphasis in Mexico.

Magali holds a BA in Economics from Mexico's ITAM and a Master's degree in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

JOSE LAMYIN

Managing Partner

 

José has extensive experience as a business advisor for clients throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America in mining, telecommunications, and finance. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, José worked for Teck Cominco in Peru and Canada and Deutsche Bank in London (UK). José has spearheaded much of the strategic growth of Deetken Asset Management since inception and is currently focused on investment selection.

José received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and MBA from IESE School of Business (Barcelona). Born in Peru, José is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Alexa Blain, Managing Partner Deetken Impact

ALEXA BLAIN

Managing Partner

 

Alexa is responsible for finance, operations and investor relations at Deetken Impact. She brings over 10 years of experience in financial consulting and asset management, with specific expertise in company and investment analysis, business valuation and securities/corporate finance. Prior to joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s retail financial services operations as well as on the origination and negotiation of new capital. In addition, Alexa has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Alexa is a CFA Charterholder. She has also completed an MA in Financial Economics and an Honours BA in Economics, both at the University of Toronto.

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Fernando Alvarado, Head of Deetken Impact Sustainable Energy

FERNANDO ALVARADO

CEO

Honduras Renewable Energy Managers (HREM) and Caribbean Renewable Energy Managers (CAREM)

 

Fernando Alvarado leads the General Partner and Investment Advisor of two clean energy and energy efficiency project finance and venture capital funds: Honduras Renewable Energy Financing Facility (H-REFF) and Caribbean Basin Sustainable Energy Fund (CABEF), which he structured and runs with a combined target capitalization of $100m.

Development Investment Banker with 28 years of international credit and investment experience and 18 years of direct experience assessing diversified renewable energy portfolios in Latin America & the Caribbean. He has participated in more than 50 syndicated credit and investment transactions for renewable energy projects in excess of $250 MM. He led the creation, structuring, fundraising, legal closing and portfolio construction of several specialized renewable energy funds.

Costa Rican, based in San Jose, Mr. Alvarado has an MBA in Banking and Finance cum laude from Universidad de Costa Rica.

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Carl Black, Portfolio Manager Deetken Impact

CARL BLACK

Portfolio Manager

 

Carl is a Portfolio Manager with Deetken Impact focused on analyzing and working with MSMEs, social enterprises, and renewable energy developers in Latin America and the Caribbean. His main responsibilities include supporting business development, managing technical assistance projects, leading investment due diligence, and monitoring portfolio performance. Prior to joining Deetken Impact, Carl worked for five years as a consultant, advising public sector clients an non profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. He started his career at the Bank of Canada, where he researched issues related to household and business credit. 

Carl completed an Honours BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia. He also holds an MSc in Economics & Development from the University of Oxford, where he earned distinctions in quantitative and development economics.

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Cristobal Aguirre, Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CRISTOBAL AGUIRRE

Investment Analyst

 

Cristobal has over 6 years of experience in the asset management industry, where his responsibilities have ranged from asset allocation and portfolio management to risk analysis and software development. Before relocating to Canada, Cristobal worked as a senior investment analyst in AFP Habitat—Chile’s largest pension fund—where he led the tactical asset allocation and macroeconomic research for emerging markets.

Cristobal is a CFA Charterholder, and completed a BA in Economics at Universidad de Chile.

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Chad Parsons, Senior Investment Analyst at Deetken Impact

CHAD PARSONS

SeniorInvestmentAnalyst

 

Chad has worked as a consultant in business and technology for 20 years – often helping clients with their business transformation initiatives.    He has worked with start-ups, government, and established businesses to further their product and service offerings with a balanced approach.   After pursuing a research degree on leveraging technology for social and economic development; Chad has found a valuable alignment of his background with Deetken’s innovative impact investments. 

Chad completed a BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and has a MSc with distinction from the University of Manchester (UK).

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