Investing in Women: Experience and Performance of Women’s SMEs
Investing in Women (IW) has partnered with impact investors to strengthen access to finance for women-owned and -led small and medium-sized enterprises (women’s SMEs) in Southeast Asia. IW’s impact investing partners (IIPs) provide investment financing directly to women’s SMEs across Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, thereby contributing to closing the credit gap experienced by many women in business. By the end of 2022, IIPs had invested approximately AUD 15.4 million into 82 women’s SMEs and leveraged more than AUD 273million in private capital.
This research explores the business journeys and economic empowerment of the women entrepreneurs and business leaders in the IW portfolio; how the investment has affected their lives and businesses; and what can be learned to inform future impact investing in women’s SMEs in the region. The research is based on surveys completed by a sample of 52 women investees, and interviews with 33 of them between 2018 and 2023. These SMEs are active in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, retail and consumer goods, education, healthcare and financial services. IIPs invested approximately AUD 10.7 million in this sample of SMEs and leveraged around AUD 64.9 million of additional private sector capital.