December 7, 2020 – Washington, DC – Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) has successfully closed the US$27.7 million Women’s Livelihood Bond 3 (WLB3), the third bond in the award-winning Women’s Livelihood BondTM Series (WLB Series), which is a part of the P4G Partnership. Advancing a total of 13 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the WLB3 complies with the International Capital Market Association’s Social Bond Principles and will support 180,000 underserved women in the Asia Pacific to respond, to recover from, and to build resilience in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The WLB3 is also the maiden investment of IIX’s Women’s Catalyst Fund, a next generation gender lens vehicle designed to accelerate innovative financial instruments for women.
The WLB3 is part of the US$150 million WLB Series, a series of innovative debt securities that create sustainable livelihoods for over 3 million women across developing countries. The WLB3 is supporting women-focused enterprises in India, Indonesia, Cambodia, and the Philippines that are directly supporting women to respond to, recover from, or rebuild their livelihoods in the COVID pandemic.
P4G elevated the WLB Series to the attention of Bappenas, the Ministry of National Development Planning of the Republic of Indonesia and Co-Chair of the P4G Indonesian National Platform. By mobilizing its engaged ecosystem in country partners, P4G was able to generate interest and engagement among policymakers and private sector players in Indonesia, and bring sharper alignment between the partnership’s impact and Indonesia’s national priorities like women’s empowerment in sectors like energy and agriculture.
The WLB3 continues to gather global momentum by bringing together a diverse range of public and private sector partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Shearman & Sterling, Latham & Watkins, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Clifford Chance, ANZ as the lead placement agent, Standard Chartered Bank, DBS Bank, Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
The WLB3 follows on the heels of the successful close of the US$12 million WLB2 in January, demonstrating how innovative gender lens products can be accelerated even during a global downturn by addressing key elements of risk, return, and impact for investors.
IIX’s CEO and Founder, Durreen Shahnaz, said, “At a time when COVID-19 caused governments, investors, and businesses to turn inward and leave behind millions of underserved women, we took a stand to do what is right. We closed a deal of immense proportions during a pandemic, and taught the world’s leading institutions how to create a financial product that works for the 99%. Our astounding success is due to the fact that we dare to do what no one else is doing by valuing and making them a part of the global financial system. But we’re not stopping there. With each innovative financial instrument, we’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of financial markets so that we create truly systemic change that will outlast the pandemic.”
“IIX is a shining example of a pioneering green partnership that can deliver inclusive economic resilience at speed and scale. P4G is proud to partner with the WLB Series because, like them, we believe that green growth requires women to play a central part as economic agents of change. In a time of great challenges and uncertainty in the midst of a global pandemic, it is inspiring to be part of an innovative investment approach that is bringing much needed private sector investment into developing economies. We will continue to support the scaling of this transformative partnership not only in Indonesia but also replicating this approach in Kenya as part of mainstreaming this approach to investing in impact,” said Ian de Cruz, P4G Global Director.
“In every industry, we are seeing women emerge as entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders. When women are empowered, everybody wins. P4G partnerships like the WLB Series send a strong signal of what can be accomplished when the public and private sector collaborate to invest in impact and the need for platforms like P4G to bridge this gap. We welcome the inclusive growth WLB3 will bring to Indonesia and look forward to furthering its impact,” said Shinta Kamdani, Chief Executive Officer, Sintesa Group and Private Sector Co-Chair of the P4G Indonesia National Platform.
IIX’s newly launched Women’s Catalyst Fund (WCF), an innovative gender lens investment vehicle designed to accelerate funding for underserved women in developing countries to build COVID resilience, made its maiden investment on support of the WLB3. The WCF provided first loss capital which encouraged participation by private sector investors. Backed by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF), the WCF addresses persistent hurdles of the lack of catalytic capital for scaling gender lens investing by encouraging investment from new private sector investors. Specifically, the WCF provides first-loss capital in the form of subordinated notes to gender-lens innovative financial instruments, such as IIX’s WLB Series. This first-loss capital mobilizes private sector investors by reducing the risk to such investors, thereby catalyzing private sector participation into gender-lens investments that empower underserved women in developing countries.
In 2017, IIX launched the first of the WLB Series, the Women’s Livelihood BondTM 1 (WLB1)—which is the world’s first impact investing instrument to be listed on a stock exchange. Listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) and quoted on Bloomberg, the WLB1 is also Asia’s first multi-country listed gender bond, reporting both social and financial returns. With the success of the WLB1, IIX issued the US$12M WLB2 in January 2020. Each issuance continues to grow in size and expand to include more countries and new sectors. IIX plans to issue the next bond in the WLB Series in Q4 2021.
About P4G – Pioneering Green Partnerships, Investing in Impact P4G – Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 - is a global platform with a venture capital approach to accelerating market-based partnerships to build sustainable and resilient economies. P4G bridges the gap between development and investment agendas to deliver inclusive, transformative solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. P4G mobilizes a global ecosystem of 12 partner countries and 6 organizational partners to unlock opportunities for more than 50+ partnerships working in five SDG areas: food and agriculture, water, energy, cities and circular economy.
This announcement is not for publication or distribution, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States. Securities have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) or any state securities laws of the United States, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state laws. IIX has no intention to register the securities in the United States or any other jurisdiction.
This announcement is neither an offer to sell nor the solicitation of an offer to buy the bonds issued under the WLB Series and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is unlawful