MIT D-Lab Co-Design Sprint: Gender Lens Investing in India — October 2021

Towards Gender Inclusive Investment Practices

Co-Design Sprint hosted by MIT D-Lab & Intellecap

The Challenge

More and more investors are interested in deploying gender smart capital while at the same  time meeting the risk and return objectives appropriate for their institutional portfolio. 

Despite the growing momentum around Gender Lens Investing (GLI), interested fund managers have limited options when it comes to finding the right support that they need for embedding gender smart practices across their investment cycle.

The Co-Design sprint offers new opportunities for investors to identify and activate new strategies to close the gender finance gap in India.

How can we catalyze a community of impact investors to lead the sector with gender smart strategies?

MIT D-Lab and Intellecap are convening a group of investors, entrepreneurs and gender impact actors to identify and solve for key roadblocks investors face in implementing gender inclusive practices in their organizations.

The Co-Design Sprint Workshop themes

  1. Improving sourcing and recruitment efforts to bring in more female-led and gender-forward businesses.

  2. Recognize, eliminate bias in screening and due diligence process

  3. Track & use gender impact data in portfolio

The Event Schedule

Workshop schedule
What will investors achieve?

During the sprint, investors will:

  1. Undertake a gender diagnostic with insights gathered from entrepreneurs and gender experts

  2. Learn and practice tools that can support their GLI journey

  3. Develop an actionable strategy that they can further test and implement in their own funds

Co-Design Sprint Outcomes

  • Investor spotlights (plenary): Two investors will introduce their GLI vision and key challenges
  • Problem framing (facilitated team-work): Design teams including gender experts, Gender forward entrepreneurs, ecosystem actors and other investors, will map pout the investor’s challenge and identify key opportunities for improvement
  • Solution ideation (facilitated team-work): Design team will generate ideas to solve the barriers identified and share best practices from their own experience and practice
  • Brain trust (plenary): Investors will identify solutions they would like to move forward and collect advise from participants on key consideration for enacting these solutions.

This Co-Design Sprint is supported by the Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs Advancing Women’s Empowerment Fund.


Jona Repishti, Social Entrepreneurship Manager

Saida Benhayoune, Program Advisor