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Globally, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined from 36 per cent in 1990 to 10 per cent in 2015. But the pace of change is decelerating and the COVID-19 crisis risks reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty. New research published by the UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research warns that the economic fallout from the global pandemic could increase global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8% of the total human population. This would be the first time that poverty has increased globally in thirty years, since 1990.

More than 700 million people, or 10 per cent of the world population, still live in extreme poverty today, struggling to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation, to name a few. The majority of people living on less than $1.90 a day live in sub-Saharan Africa. Worldwide, the poverty rate in rural areas is 17.2 per cent—more than three times higher than in urban areas.


For those who work, having a job does not guarantee a decent living. In fact, 8 per cent of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018. One out of five children live in extreme poverty. Ensuring social protection for all children and other vulnerable groups is critical to reduce poverty.



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The Climate Crisis affects all of us, regardless of gender, race, age or creed. But vitally important decisions about how to address it through policy change or through investment, are being made mainly by men. Only 1.9% of venture capital funding goes to female founders, globally, (1.3% in North Africa and the Middle East) down from an already embarrassing 3% at its height. By failing to invest in women and diverse founders, you are missing out on innovative solutions for people and planet and demonstrably higher returns. Learn more about the superior results of diverse founding teams.


GEDI stands for Gender Equity Diversity Investments. Are you an ambitious startup with at least one female founder or member of the senior management team? Great! GEDI seeks to invest at the nexus of gender and sustainability. Our investment verticals are the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals: Climate Action, Good Health and Well Being, and Quality Education. We are particularly interested to hear from female founders in emerging markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Investment stage has some flexibility with a preference for Seed to Series A+. Please fill out the form and send in a pitch video or deck to ask for a video chat with a member of the GEDI team. If you are attending an event with us, please connect!


Are you an investor who wants the superior returns produced by diverse teams? Are you a company or nonprofit interested in partnering with the GEDI ecosystem? Submit a contact form and someone from the GEDI team will be happy to speak with you about how to get involved.

For fellow VC's, feel free to use this form to reach out about joint investment opportunities or to learn more about our pledge to invest in the strongest female-led businesses and how we plan to measure our impact.


GEDI, is a gender-lens venture capital firm established by a team of expert and diverse investors, futurists, technologists, impact pioneers and global CEO's.  We are women with real-world experience at getting things done; things that matter, while generating strong financial returns. The GEDI network comprises over 200 market leaders and global experts, the source of our 600-strong proprietary deal pipeline.

Our focus is on the intersection of climate and gender, investing in countries at the forefront of the growing climate migrant crisis. We believe that women, who are disproportionately affected by extreme weather events and forced displacement, should be part of the solution.

GEDI's mission is to identify and invest in the most promising tech-enabled companies led by talented and ambitious female entrepreneurs in these frontier markets. By doing so, we aim to accelerate the development and adoption of sustainable and locally adapted solutions for climate action, adaptation, and resilience.

In the Middle East and North Africa there is a renaissance among women, with an influx of talented female graduates from prestigious institutions like Harvard and Stanford, brimming with ideas for profitable and transformative technologies. It is disheartening to note that female founders in this region receive only 1.3% of venture capital funding. And this is where GEDI steps in. We have already been approached by ambitious female entrepreneurs from Morocco to Pakistan, who are seeking financial support, mentoring and the multiplier effect of our powerful GEDI network for their climate solutions.

As an experienced all-female investment team, supported by a diverse, seasoned board of advisors, and our powerful, global, GEDI network with niche expertise in climate and sustainability, we believe we are well suited to invest at this nexus. 


We visualize and track those objectives against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If those are new to you, check out the interactive list below.

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GEDI's pledge at COP26 

GEDI founder, Sophia Swire, made a pledge to raise and deploy $100 million USD or more in talented female founders with solutions for the Global Goals at COP26 in Glasgow, in November 2021. Watch a clip to the left here.






"Investors looking to outperform the market should deploy capital with female led venture capital firms. Female GPs are twice as likely to attract and invest in the strongest women-led businesses. And these are more sustainable, more profitable, and they exit faster."

Women's Forum G20, Italy, 2021

Sophia Swire

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