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Investing in Women is partnering with impact investors to strengthen access to finance for women owned and led SMEs in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and to build a business case for a more inclusive investing environment globally.

Women, much more so than men, face barriers to get the financing they need to grow their businesses. Studies show women-led companies get small proportions of venture funding, even though companies with at least one female founder perform significantly better than all male founder teams.

Investing in Women is working to determine why women’s SMEs have historically been overlooked for investment, and is working to change this.

The credit gap for women-owned SMEs does not just affect women — it affects entrepreneurship, investment and economic growth across nations and economies. According to the IFC, SMEs make up 98% of all businesses and provide jobs for 66% of the labour force in Asia, and women-owned SME’s represent 31 to 38% of all SMEs in emerging markets. Closing the credit gap will help businesses and economies grow, while allowing impact investors to capitalise on this significant market opportunity.

Through direct investments, gender advice and operational support, Investing in Women is working with impact investors on:

  • Investment financing. Unlocking finance through funds that incentivise higher levels of investment in women’s SMEs.
  • Operational Support. Strengthening the regional footprint of global impact investors so they can better tap into women SME investment opportunities in the region.
  • Knowledge Building. Producing evidence that investing in women’s SMEs can deliver good financial and social returns.
  • Gender Lens Ecosystem. Help impact investors customise their products to the needs of women’s SMEs, so that supply and demand for capital are better aligned.


By building a strong business case, we hope to give impact investors globally the confidence and the practical tools to invest in women’s SMEs, increasing their access to investment financing.

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