Ise Bosch, founder and CEO of Dreilinden, has 15 years of funding experience in human rights, women and sexual minorities. Her new book Giving with Trust discusses how we can turn the power of money into power for the many. The new edition of her book" Besser Spenden! Ein Leitfaden für nachhaltiges Engagement" (Donating better! A guide to sustainable commitment) was published in 2021 by Herder, www.besser-spenden.de. She is a fellow-founder and on the governing board of filia.die frauenstiftung, also fellow-founder of Erbinnen-Netzwerks Pecunia e.V.
The goal of Dreilinden’s impact investments are to strengthen the financial resources of LGBTQIA* communities in the Global South and East. This is part of our overall goal to see powerful, well networked, resilient communities that can determine their own way ahead, and successfully resist discrimination, persecution, and external shocks.
For one, minority group inclusion is a measure of the state of a democracy, or civil society, and LGBTQIA* rights are simply that, human rights. Secondly, consider the loss due to non-inclusion. Research from the World Bank, Open for Business and others indicates that the economic loss due to LGBTQIA* exclusion is in the region of 1% of GDP per country!
To date, we have launched pilots in South Africa and Mexico, where we offer LGBTQIA* entreprises a variety of funding alternatives. We also support local partners with ecosystem building initiatives and mentorship programmes to create a strong foundation for thriving ecosystems, and ultimately a sustainable pipeline of investment opportunities. There is an entire cohort of entrepreneurs that has been overlooked to date and we want to help connect them to mainstream finance.
Gender lens investors would be our natural allies, but many are stuck in a binary gender understanding which doesn’t reflect the reality of societies. To that end, we support various initiatives to build the foundational research (e.g. here and here) towards more inclusive investment lenses. We also document our own journey on Medium.
Finding local implementation partners with matching values continues to be a challenge. We have been lucky to date but it takes a significant time investment to develop these relationships - even more so in times when meeting in person is not possible. We would also love to see more donors and investors join us on the journey, but many are less flexible, often limited by structural challenges. We are conscious of the fact that we are pioneering novel ideas and approaches. While we want our capital to be catalytic and our actions to inspire others, we cannot be too far ahead of the curve.
More broadly, we still encounter ignorance about LGBTQIA* issues, or even anti-LGBTQIA* sentiment, even in “progressive” circles.
The time is ripe – well, even riper than it was. LGBTQIA* issues are not taboo anymore - at least in some contexts – which is so very helpful.
We also hope to benefit from the broader momentum we are seeing in the impact investing markets with additional capital being mobilised and new players entering. The pandemic has shown that new approaches are required to challenge structural issue and we are seeing more organisations broadening their horizons to try new things - such as impact investing with an LGBTQIA* lens!