Amazon and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have joined hands to launch a public-private partnership. They will address the gender inequities that exist for women in the climate finance ecosystem and support female entrepreneurs globally with the necessary resources to accelerate innovations that will bring climate change.
Climate Gender Equity Fund
Amazon will serve as a founding partner of USAID’s Climate Gender Equity Fund. This is a new globally-focused climate finance facility designed to remove systemic market barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing climate finance. Also, USAID will match Amazon’s $3 million investment to help launch the Climate Gender Equity Fund.
The Climate Gender Equity Fund will have a global focus and provide grants for businesses, NGOs, accelerators, incubators, and grassroots organisations working on women-led climate solutions. In addition, it will fund efforts to help women access the networks and technical skills they need to accelerate the development of their climate change technologies.
“As an important step in solving climate change, we must address the gender inequalities that persist in climate finance, and ensure female entrepreneurs have an equal seat at the table and access to the funding, networks, and technical support they need to scale climate solutions, said Kara Hurst, Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon. We’re proud to collaborate with USAID and the Biden administration to help scale women-led climate solutions globally. This is just one part of our broader Climate Pledge goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, and we encourage other companies to join us in this effort.”
Amazon’s VC programme
As a co-founder of The Climate Pledge, Amazon will work with Pledge signatories and other companies to encourage their additional support and corporate investment to this new fund. The partnership with USAID will help advance mutual goals around women’s climate leadership and gender equity, including Amazon’s sustainability goals, the work of The Climate Pledge, and the Biden administration’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.
Amazon is allocating $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund to invest in women-founded and women-led climate tech companies, as well as incubators and accelerators that prioritise women-led entities.
The Climate Pledge Fund–Amazon’s venture capital programme invests in companies pioneering decarbonising technologies and solutions worldwide. It will collaborate with USAID and the Climate Gender Equity Fund to source new investment opportunities and broaden its pipeline of female applicants.
Why focus on female entrepreneurs?
Amazon has taken several additional recent steps to advance gender equality across its value chain. It commits to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), grants $1 million to the Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains, invests in the Elevate Future Fund, which increases funding to women and other underrepresented founders working on climate tech solutions, collaborates with Greentown Labs, North America’s largest climate tech incubator, and works with Elemental Excelerator.
Usually, female-founded companies receive a fraction of global venture capital and that percentage took a plunge during the pandemic. However, research shows that female entrepreneurs are more likely than their male counterparts to innovate to address social needs. It is also claimed that women-led companies generate more revenue per dollar invested and produce greater ROI for investors.
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