BlueOrchard Launches Impact Fund Fighting Poverty in South East Asia

Sep 2016
South East Asia , September, 16 2016 - With the appreciation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s initiative to empower women, the Government of Japan has announced the launch of the first «Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund».

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), as well as leading Japanese institutional investors, amongst others Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, have committed meaningful resources to the fund.

The fund has been set up and is managed by Swiss-based impact specialist BlueOrchard.

Fundamental Impact

The fund plans to invest $120 million to Microfinance institutions empowering hundreds of thousands of women in South East Asia.
The lifetime of the fund has been set being eight years. This fund, providing perpetual lending facilities to predominantly female micro and small entrepreneurs in ASEAN countries, will have a fundamental positive impact to society while reducing poverty, as it is stated in a press release on Friday.

«This fund testifies to the Japanese innovation capabilities and the potential of the economic development of the region. BlueOrchard is very proud and honored to have been appointed as fund manager of this unprecedented initiative,» BlueOrchard Chairman Peter Fanconi said.

Marking a Milestone

The fund further marks an important milestone enabling Japanese institutional investors accessing the impact asset class, securing attractive and uncorrelated returns whilst allowing for direct social and environmental impact.

«For promotion of economic integration and sustainable growth in ASEAN countries, it is important for people in each country to realize such benefits. The Japanese Government welcomes the launch of the Japan-ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund,» Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe added.

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