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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Caspian Debt chosen as 2X Flagship Fund committed to investing with gender lens

Caspian Debt, a catalytic debt provider to professionally managed small and mid-market companies and start-ups, has been awarded the 2X Flagship Fund status by the 2X Flagship Fund Committee. Caspian Debt’s candidature was proposed by its existing investors Nederlandse Financieringsmaatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO) and United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), based on its three-year track record of exceeding the investment commitments to 2X qualified companies, as well as on the gender diversity of its team. As a 2X Flagship Fund, Caspian Debt has entered a Memorandum of Understanding with FMO and DFC to accelerate its efforts in reducing gender finance gap. The partners will collectively encourage gender-smart investing, underscoring their commitment to advancing gender balance and inclusivity within the financial sector.

Caspian Debt has been selected as a 2X Flagship Fund considering its track record in furthering the cause of women’s economic empowerment through gender lens financing and by enabling gender balance in the team. The 2X Flagship Fund status recognises Caspian Debt’s efforts to demonstrate the commercial and social benefits of valuing women as entrepreneurs, employees, or clients. In FY-23, Caspian Debt fulfilled the requirements of the 2X fund status by surpassing the indirect criteria requirement by 170%, with over 50% of our companies meeting the 2X criteria. This commitment is further reflected in the company’s workforce, where women make up 40% of the total employees and hold 50% of the senior management positions. In a conscious endeavour to foster equity, the company actively participates in a range of training programs, including those centred around gender-smart investing and addressing unconscious bias.

Mr. Avishek Gupta, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Caspian Debt, said, "We are proud to be selected as the 2X Flagship Fund, which strengthens our commitment to gender smart investments. Funding with a gender lens requires a deliberate approach of integrating gender sensitivity throughout its process of investing which includes sourcing, evaluation, documentation, and disbursements. We have always been intentional about our approach and will continue to honour our commitments. Through the MoU with FMO and DFC, we have joined forces to not only commit to continue gender-smart investing but also to drive more gender equitable growth."

Jaap Reinking, Director, Private Equity, FMO said, “In our 2030 Strategy, FMO is committed to increasing gender lens investments as a means of driving our ambitions on SDG 10, Reduced Inequalities. We are proud to partner with Caspian Debt, whose record on women’s economic empowerment and efforts to demonstrate the commercial and social benefits of valuing women, has now also been recognized by selection as a 2X Flagship Fund."

The 2X Challenge is a multilateral initiative with the ambitious objective of deploying and mobilizing unprecedented amounts of capital to support funds that empower women as entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, and consumers of products. Under the 2X Challenge, the 2X Flagship Funds status recognizes gender-smart funds whose fund managers make ambitious commitments to gender targets at both the fund and the portfolio level. Flagship Funds are nominated and then awarded special recognition by an independent 2X committee of industry leaders. Caspian Debt has been approved by the 2X Flagship Fund Committee as a 2X Flagship Fund in the Catalyst Tier, which is a testimony to significant commitment by Caspian to commercially rigorous investing with a gender lens using the 2X criteria.

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Updated: 13 Sep 2023, 10:47 PM IST
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