Empower Women, Uplift Generations: The Impact of Gender Lens Investing

As we approach the commemoration of National Women’s Day in South Africa, we are inspired by the bravery of the 20,000 women who marched against discriminatory pass laws 67 years ago. While we take pride in celebrating this national day, we also acknowledge the urgent need for gender equity in South Africa. According to Stats SA’s report in 2022, nearly half of women who are of working age were not active in the labour force, while only 35.6% of their male counterparts were economically inactive. To address this alarming gap, we turn to the powerful tool of gender lens investing.

Understanding gender lens investing

Gender lens investing is a strategic approach that considers various gender-based factors that hinder women’s economic empowerment. At Inyosi Empowerment, we embrace this approach wholeheartedly in our enterprise and supplier development initiatives. Our commitment to gender equity is evident in our 80% female workforce, with women holding key managerial positions. But it doesn’t stop there; we extend our efforts to empower women through our beneficiaries, especially our long-standing partner, Taking Care of Business (TCB).

Empowering single mothers and Taking Care of Business

TCB was founded with a clear vision to uplift unemployed mothers through innovative resell, repair, and remake programs. By equipping unemployed mothers to become successful entrepreneurs by selling donated excess clothing from the retail sector.

Aside from providing access to stock and capital, TCB tackles a multitude of gender-based obstacles faced by women. Tracey Chambers, social entrepreneur and CEO of TCB, explains, “Over the past 12 years, we have learnt that poverty is multi-dimensional and the road out of poverty is littered with many obstacles. Many mothers who join our programme often bear the weight of trauma, abuse, and the responsibility of caring for themselves, their children, and extended families. We, at TCB, have therefore consciously created an ecosystem that supports change, transforms the person holistically and keeps people focused on achieving their goals.”

Empower a woman, uplift a generation

The impact of TCB’s work goes far beyond empowering mothers. By financially empowering predominantly unemployed mothers, TCB contributes to economic diversification and income equality within households. As mothers earn more, they can provide better livelihoods for their children, thus sowing the seeds of positive, sustainable impact and growth for future generations. At Inyosi Empowerment, we are dedicated to providing access to funding, markets, and skills, which has proven invaluable for TCB and numerous other SMEs.


“Inyosi has been an incredible partner to TCB. With their support, we have been able to invest in purchasing 2 of the buildings in which we operate. As a nonprofit organisation it is crucial to keep overheads low and impact high. Inyosi’s support has helped us improve our organisational sustainability and allows us to focus on the important work of enterprise development rather than worrying about next month’s rent,” says Tracey.

A brighter future for women in SA

As we celebrate National Women’s Day, let us remember that gender equity is not solely a women’s issue; it is a societal imperative. Embracing gender lens investing allows us to uplift women, break barriers, and pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous South Africa. Inyosi Empowerment’s partnership with TCB serves as an inspiring example of how businesses can drive meaningful change in the lives of women and generations to come.

Let us continue our journey towards a gender-equal future, where women’s economic empowerment thrives, and together, we create a brighter and more equitable South Africa.

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