Jul 29, 2021

The VF Foundation Helps Launch Groundbreaking New Fund to Support Women in Global Value Chains


The innovative Resilience Fund for Women lifts up local solutions and builds long-term resilience for women in global value chains.

A first-of-its-kind collaborative funding initiative, the Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains brings together corporate investors, foundations and NGO partners to invest in the health, safety and economic resilience of the women who form the backbone of global value chains. The Fund aims to raise at least US$10 million in pooled funding over three years to support locally-driven solutions to the systemic problems that make women more vulnerable to crises like the Covid pandemic.

“This is a new way to do corporate philanthropy. We’re joining a growing movement that is challenging the traditional notion of solving problems through pre-ordained approaches or ideas of success,” said Seema Jalan, Executive Director of the United Nations Foundation’s Universal Access Project. “Instead, we’re recognizing that transformative change comes from local organizations and feminist leaders who are driving priorities, strategies and solutions.”

This innovative collaboration provides unrestricted funds to organizations in the Global South—trusting local and regional women’s funds, women-led organizations and feminist leaders to know what their communities need and enabling them to direct resources to yield the strongest outcomes. The Fund is embarking on its first phase in South Asia, with planned expansions to additional regions by early 2022.

The Resilience Fund is a joint initiative of BSR, the United Nations Foundation’s Universal Access Project, and Women Win/Win-Win Strategies in close collaboration with The VF Foundation and several other founding corporate partners and investors, including Gap Foundation, PVH Foundation, H&M Foundation and the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation.

“The VF Foundation believes galvanizing our collective expertise, scale and resources with like-minded partners combined with a locally-led, grassroots approach to corporate philanthropy will advance women and girls in powerful ways,” said Gloria Schoch, Executive Director of The VF Foundation. “A first-of-its-kind fund will enhance long-term economic resilience, health and well-being for women in our global supply chains for generations to come.”  

A representative advisory board places grassroots and feminist leaders as equal partners with investors in determining how funds should be expended, using real-time feedback and learning to respond flexibly to changing realities on the ground. Global Fund for Women, the Naz Foundation, Prospera International Network of Women’s Funds, and Women’s Fund Asia will serve as representatives of women’s funds and grassroots women’s organizations on the advisory board. The Fund is open to investors across a wide range of sectors, offering them the opportunity to build new, long-term connections with women’s funds and locally-led organizations that focus on women's safety, security and sexual and reproductive health as long-term drivers of economic resilience.

About the Resilience Fund

The Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains is a first-of-its-kind pooled funding initiative for corporate and philanthropic investments in the long-term health, well-being, and economic resilience of women who form the backbone of global supply chains. The Fund was developed jointly by BSR, the United Nations Foundation’s Universal Access Project, and Women Win/Win-Win Strategies in close collaboration with founding corporate partners and investors Gap Foundation, PVH Foundation, H&M Foundation, The VF Foundation, and the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation.

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