To create greater equity for women entrepreneurs whose innovations combat climate change — but who often don’t receive crucial funding — Amazon will contribute $53 million through a partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The retailer will give $3 million to support the USAID partnership and invest $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund into women-led climate tech companies.
The Climate Gender Equity Fund will contribute to businesses, NGOs, accelerators, incubators and grassroots organizations that support climate solutions led by women. Amazon’s role as a co-founder of The Climate Pledge, the venture capital program that funds decarbonizing pioneers, also positions the ecommerce giant to encourage other pledge members to support the new fund.
“As an important step in solving climate change, we must address the gender inequalities that persist in climate finance, and ensure female entrepreneurs have an equal seat at the table and access to the funding, networks and technical support they need to scale climate solutions,” said Kara Hurst, VP of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon in a statement, adding that this latest move is “just one part of our broader Climate Pledge goal to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, and we encourage other companies to join us in this effort.”
Amazon has supported gender equity in business through a number of efforts including:
- Aligning its business to support the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs);
- Committing $1 million to the Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains;
- Working with BSR’s HERproject;
- Contributing to the Elevate Future Fund;
- Joining Greentown Labs to fight climate change; and
- Partnering with Elemental Excelerator.
Over the last two years, Amazon has accelerated its sustainable efforts through social and environmental commitments, including incorporating cleaner trucks and delivery vehicles into its own business. The company also has contributed funds to support equity in business, such as its October 2022 launch of Amazon Catalytic Capital, aimed at investing $150 million in venture capital funds, accelerators, incubators and venture studios that support entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups