In the Pacific Islands, women make significant contributions to communities and economies. There is a growing recognition among governments and in the private sector that investing in women and girls has a powerful effect on productivity, efficiency and economic growth.
To make good investments, the important role women in the Pacific play in businesses, and the supply chain must be better understood. Traditional financial analysis tools used in the Pacific typically miss opportunities for investment in this area. Businesses in the Pacific are often family-run initiatives, so understanding the role of women is essential for good investment.
Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise (Pacific RISE) is a pilot innovation to pioneer and facilitate a social impact investment market in the Pacific. Alongside the Pacific RISE partners, the Criterion Institute is designing an approach to create better investments in the Pacific and improve outcomes for women. Together we are doing this by:
  1. Training women’s rights advocates in the Pacific to understand the language and logic of finance to influence the design of investment decisions with a gender lens
  2. Supporting investment intermediaries to use a gender analysis in their financial analysis to make better decisions.
Pacific RISE will train and advise investors, intermediaries and other stakeholders on applying a gender lens to identify, support and invest in Pacific social enterprises. A gender lens will be used in scoping, selecting intermediaries, due diligence, enterprise support and measuring gender. Pacific RISE will use Criterion Institute’s global expertise in gender lens investing to link it into wider global opportunities to attract investors and other support from others committed to using finance as a tool to achieve gender equality.
Pacific RISE has also developed a series of videos linked to the investment thesis.  Joy Anderson (Criterion Institute and Pacific RISE’s lead on the investment thesis development) recorded several short videos covering topics related to the investment thesis, including an example of one of the five themes of the thesis, Resilience in the Face of Climate Change. 


Pacific RISE is an initiative of the Australian Government

Key Areas:

Gender Lens Investing; Tools for Investors; Women’s Rights; Pacific Island Region

Project Lead

Joy Anderson

Ways to Get Involved:

If you are an investor, engage with the investment thesis by e-mailing

If you’re interested in volunteer opportunities or how you can get involved, connect with us here.

Related Resources 

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