SOPOONG (“sopoong”), a social venture company engaging in impact investing, announced that it will actively employ gender lens investing techniques from the first half year. The company is seeking to find female entrepreneurs by reshaping the overall investment selection process from document screening to final review.
Gender lens investing, the key to sopoong’s new strategy, is to ensure investment to be consider gender equality as a top priority. This idea originally comes from the book Gender Lens Investing by Jackie VanderBrug and Joseph P. Quinlan, in which they explain, “Like using a pair of glasses to correct our vision, a Gender Lens will help focus our attention on gender differences and identify them.”
Basically, gender lens investing strategy measures gender sensitivity of partners or venture capitalists and excludes sexist ideas during the selection process through a variety of institutional systems. For instance, “gender sensitive observer” system newly introduced in pre-accelerating process is designed to protect female entrepreneurs from being exposed to any sexist remarks or behaviors. The company explains that their improved procedure will also guarantee that at least one female-led startup is included in the final investment decision process.
In the first half of this year, the number of female entrepreneurs selected through document screening based on gender lens investing accounted for 43.8%, which is a 20% increase from the second half of last year. The company official said, “This figure represents significant progress considering that such entrepreneurs have successfully met strict requirements in the investment selection process, which include various elements such as social impact.” The female entrepreneur finalist for the first half of 2018 will be released by the end of March when investment contract is signed.
“Female-led startups consist of 30% of the traditional portfolio,” stated the company official. He also added that it would “take the initiative to expand gender lens investing opportunities in South Korea, as the company has been focusing on the social value created by social ventures.” If you’d like to find more about gender lens investing, visit sopoong website and check their report.