19 September 2017 | Press Release

Investing in Women strengthens impact investing partnerships to finance the growth of women’s entrepreneurs in South East Asia

Dr. Steven Barraclough,Minister-Counsellor from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Mr Bob Webster, Managing Director, SEAF, Mr Dondi Hananto, Principal, Patamar Capital, Dr. julia Newton-Howes, CEO Investing in Women and Mr Abilash Mudaliar, Director of Research, Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) during the Sankalp Forum 2017 Media Event.


Jakarta, Indonesia (September 19, 2017) – Facing a credit gap of US$ 287 billion, some 70% of women-owned SMEs in the formal sector of developing countries are unserved or under-served by financial institutions. Closing the gender credit gap for women-owned SMEs can drive global growth by boosting income per capita 12% higher by 2030.

Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian government to promote women’s economic empowerment in South East Asia, has developed three impact investing partnerships to unlock productive capital for women entrepreneurs.

Patamar Capital – With support from Investing in Women, Patamar Capital recently launched an Impact Investment Fund to drive growth of women’s SMEs in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. This partnership involves a women’s SME acceleration program; operational support to source and close deals; and investments into early and growth-stage women’s SMEs.

Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF) – A partnership with Investing in Women has led to the launch of the SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund for Southeast Asia. In applying SEAF’s gender lens approach, the fund will make equity and quasi-equity investments in women-led businesses. The Women’s Opportunity Fund seeks commercial, risk-adjusted financial returns along with clear and measurable social and environmental impact. This partnership serves an important step in addressing the significant financing gap for women entrepreneurs in the region.

The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) – The partnership with GIIN will build greater investor awareness of the cross-cutting nature of gender and help expand a social investment sector that advances gender equality as smart economics. With program support, GIIN is developing market intelligence through a landscaping study (to be published in 2018) on impact investing in Southeast Asia. To drive the business case for gender lens impact investing, the partnership is currently establishing a community of practice (as a working group) for impact investors pursuing gender lens investing around the world.

“We are pleased of the early successes of our partnership initiatives and developing champions for investing in women overall. These partnerships in impact investing are integral to our efforts of empowering women economically.” Said Dr Julia Newton-Howes, CEO of Investing in Women. “With these impact investing partnerships, we see an opportunity to help shape the field’s growth and trajectory in Southeast Asia. If impact investors look to create stronger social impact – reaching deeper into untapped markets of developing countries, then they need to incorporate a gender lens into their investment strategy.”

Over the next few years, Investing in Women will engage collaboratively with the impact investing community to create stronger and more robust economic outcomes across South East Asia.

Additional Information

Investing in Women:

Investing in Women is an Australian Government initiative to catalyse inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction in South East Asia. The program’s goals are to improve women’s participation in the workforce and as business leaders; enhance women’s voice in decision making and leadership; and influence the private and public sectors to recognise and promote the value of gender equality. Investing in Women partners with impact investors to strengthen access to finance for women owned and led SMEs particularly in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, and to build a business case for a more inclusive investing environment globally.

Website: investinginwomen.asia

Patamar Capital:

Patamar Capital (formerly Unitus Impact) exists to unlock better economic opportunities for Asia’s low-income communities. The firm achieves superior returns for its partners by investing in and supporting early-stage, high-growth companies solving South and Southeast Asia’s most pervasive problems at scale. Patamar Capital’s global team based in Bangalore, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta and San Francisco has completed investments across six countries and sectors including agriculture, education, healthcare, financial services, and employee benefits.

Website: www.patamar.com


SEAF is an SEC registered, impact investment fund manager, investing risk capital and providing business support to growth-oriented SMEs in frontier and emerging markets. Having made more than $400 million in SME investments across a wide range of sectors, SEAF funds seek to deliver both financial returns and social and environmental impact for investors. SEAF, which is based in Washington, D.C., has managed over 35 investment funds and vehicles over 28 years and across 27 countries. SEAF also operates the Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development – CEED – an entrepreneur-focused program that provides advisory, mentoring, and networking opportunities across 13 global locations.

Websites: www.seaf.com and www.ceed-global.org.


The Global Impact Investing Network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing around the world. Since its inception in 2009, the GIIN has supported the development of and raised awareness for the emerging field of impact investing by building a strong network of investors and leaders. The GIIN builds critical infrastructure and supports activities, education, and research that help accelerate the development of a coherent impact investing industry.

Website: www.thegiin.org

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