Social Impact

Empowering Women Through Gender Lens Investing

An Oliver Wyman team helped Plan International outline an impact investing strategy 

Plan International is on a mission to advance children’s rights and equality for girls. The nonprofit wanted to expand its work by investing in women-owned businesses and asked Oliver Wyman for help with a strategy for impact investing. Drawing on Plan International’s long-standing expertise in gender-lens investing, strong connections to impacted societal groups on the ground, and experience in providing hands-on technical assistance, the nonprofit decided to open its own gender-lens investing fund. That is, investing in businesses that empower women, be it because they are women-owned, women-managed, they have a majority-female workforce or produce goods and services aimed at women.

As Plan International had limited experience in investing and finance, the group engaged Oliver Wyman to help develop a strategy to achieve the long-term goal of setting up and eventually managing an independent fund. 

Working with Plan International was a very rewarding experience. It was a great opportunity to shape the organization’s approach to gender-lens investing and set the program up for success. We had the chance to provide real impact to further the team’s understanding of the strategic implications of setting up and running a fund
Anthony Charrie, Partner, Oliver Wyman

The nonprofit asked Oliver Wyman to assess the group’s goal, challenge its thinking and build out ideas on an independent gender-lens investment fund. Over a two-month period, the Oliver Wyman team conducted an analysis of the existing gender-lens investment market in the region most relevant for Plan International based on publicly available data. They also conducted more than 20 expert interviews to assess criteria for success, understand the environment, and find potential partners for collaboration, alongside outlining a target set-up, including minimum size, growth and build-out strategy, and required capabilities. 

The Oliver Wyman team clearly listened to our organizational needs and used this to drive the development of recommendations and future strategy. They outlined specific considerations and provided clear ways forward
Sabrina Bainbridge, Senior Impact Investment Associate, Plan International

The Oliver Wyman team worked with Plan International to design, structure and conceptualize a gender-lens investing fund, and to outline a sustainable way-to-market. This included outlining the specific value-add the nonprofit would bring to the overall market environment, as well as how to ensure Plan International’s key skills and attributes would be used effectively and efficiently. Overall, Oliver Wyman increased the organization’s understanding of the investment space, and in particular gender-lens investing. 

Working with a social impact client is always a unique but equally satisfying project, with its own challenges and opportunities. I am very happy to have had the chance to support the team so closely, and that early in the process. I am very excited for the impact that Plan International’s gender-lens investing strategy will have, and wish the team the best for implementation
Lisa Lauton, Engagement Manager, Oliver Wyman