Amazon and USAID launch initiative to increase climate finance for women

The e-commerce giant is investing $53 million accelerate women’s climate innovation and progress in gender equality

SEATTLE (USA), November 3, 2022—(BUSINESS WIRE)–Amazon and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are launching a public-private partnership to address gender disparities that exist for women in the climate finance ecosystem and support female entrepreneurs with the resources needed to accelerate climate-related innovation changes.

Amazon will commit a total of $53 million to help accelerate climate solutions for women, including $3 million to partner with USAID and $50 million to invest directly in women-led climate technology companies.

The company will serve as a founding partner of USAID’s Climate Gender Equity Fund, a new climate finance mechanism designed to remove systemic market barriers that prevent women from accessing climate finance. USAID will also use Amazon’s $3 million investment to help launch the fund.

The Climate Gender Equity Fund will have a global focus and will provide grants to companies, NGOs, accelerators, incubators and local organizations working on women-led climate solutions. It will also fund initiatives to help women access the networks and technical skills needed to accelerate the development of their climate change technologies.

As a co-founder of The Climate Pledge – a commitment to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions by 2040 – Amazon will work with pledge participants and other companies to encourage their additional support and corporate investment in this new fund. The partnership will help advance shared goals around women’s climate leadership and gender equality, including Amazon’s sustainability goals, the work of The Climate Pledge, and the US government’s Gender Equity and Equity Strategy.

In addition, Amazon is committing $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund to invest in companies founded and led by women in climate change technology, as well as incubators and accelerators that favor women-led entities. The Climate Pledge Fund — Amazon’s venture capital program that invests in companies introducing decarbonization technologies and solutions — will work with USAID and the Climate Gender Equity Fund to create new investment opportunities and expand the pool of women applicants.

“As an important step in addressing climate change, we must address persistent gender disparities in climate finance and ensure that women entrepreneurs have an equal seat at the table and access to the finance, networks and technical support they need to scale climate change solutions,” she said. said Kara Hurst, Amazon’s Vice President of Global Sustainability. “We are proud to partner with USAID and the Biden administration to help scale women-led climate solutions globally. This is just one part of our wider climate commitment goal, which aims to achieve ‘net zero’ carbon emissions by 2040, and we would like to encourage other companies to take part in this initiative.”

Companies founded by women typically receive a fraction of global venture capital, and that percentage has fallen during the pandemic. However, research shows that women entrepreneurs are more inclined to innovate to meet societal needs than men. Women-led businesses also generate more revenue per dollar invested and generate a higher ROI (return on investment) for investors.

Recently, Amazon has taken a number of additional steps to promote gender equality throughout the value chain, including:

  • Commitment to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which provide guidance to companies on ways to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community.

  • A $1 million donation to the Women’s Resilience Fund in Global Value Chains, which invests in organizations that support women in global value chains, including manufacturing, apparel and agriculture, with a focus on gender-based violence and reproductive health.

  • Partnering with BSR’s HER project to combat gender discrimination in China, Bangladesh, Vietnam and India, involving suppliers, factory workers and company management. These initiatives reached about 10,000 women.

  • Investing in the Elevate Future Fund, which increases funding for women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs working on climate technology solutions, as well as companies that create economic opportunity for struggling and disadvantaged communities. This investment is part of Amazon’s new Catalytic Capital initiative to provide access to capital to underrepresented entrepreneurs.

  • Collaboration with Greentown Labs, the largest climate technology incubator in North America, to search and interact with new startups. The Climate Pledge Fund participates in startup programs, including “Access to Success,” a community event for various founders. Amazon also serves on the Greentown Labs Industry Leadership Council.

  • Collaboration with Elemental Excelerator, a climate technology startup accelerator with leadership in promoting the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion in climate technology. Elemental Excelerator recently launched an equity and access program to help startup founders create equity in their organizations’ teams and activities.

Learn more about Amazon’s sustainability initiatives.

The original language text of this publication is the official authorized version. Translations are provided only as a convenience and must refer to the original language text, which is the only version of the text that has legal effect.

See the original version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221103005186/en/

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