Closing the Gender
Finance Gap

Mapping the Opportunity for Gender Lens Investing in the Philippines

December 22, 2023

In recent years, the gender financing gap for women entrepreneurs has gained recognition globally, leading to the emergence of the Gender Lens Investing sector, with Southeast Asia taking a prominent role.

Despite the success of microfinance for women borrowers in the Philippines, accessing capital beyond microfinance remains a significant challenge for women-led businesses. This report aims to highlight the potential for gender lens investing in the Philippines, focusing on women entrepreneurs’ perspectives on the gender finance gap. They express clear ambition and readiness for growth but face difficulties finding suitable capital. On the other hand, investors are interested and keen to support women entrepreneurs and adopt a gender lens, but they do not find many women entrepreneurs in their pipeline. This gap between demand and supply needs to be bridged through a variety of innovative, inclusive mechanisms and this will require a collaborative effort from different actors across the ecosystem.

State of Women-owned or led Small and Growing Businesses (WSGBs)

  • Women entrepreneurs are highly growth-oriented and revenue-focused
  • Women are the primary decision makers of their businesses
  • WSGBs have capital needs beyond microfinance

Profile of the Respondents (WSGBs)


were in their early growth stages,
with 1-5 years of operations


were in 30-39 age group


have been operating their
business between 2 to 5 years

Key Findings


their businesses


faced discomfort and readiness
challenges when it comes to
accessing capital


needed less than PHP 1M for
immediate growth


Our Partners

Investing in Women (IW) is a multi-country Australian Government initiative in Southeast Asia that seeks to accelerate women’s economic empowerment through increased and equitable opportunities in the private sector, contributing to inclusive, sustainable economic recovery and growth in targeted countries.

Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), established in 1986 through endowments from The Nippon Foundation and the Japan motorboat racing industry, has worked since its inception to advance international exchange and cooperation. We leverage the unique freedom our status as a private foundation grants us to explore innovative solutions and approaches for addressing a wide range of issues facing the world today in partnership with a diverse community of both domestic and international collaborators.

Special Thanks

The Gender Lens & Impact Investment Council (GIIC) is a member-based industry body.
Our vision is to help build the gender lens and impact investment ecosystem, present a compelling and comprehensive Philippine Impact story and unlock capital for Philippine entrepreneurs. We aim to accelerate the industry’s development through mindful leadership and collective action.

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