EMIIF has an ambition to grow the impact investing and gender lens investing (GLI) market in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific and to increase the volume and impact of private capital flowing to the region to support inclusive and resilient economic development and gender equality.
The EMIIF consortium demonstrates a new approach to working with the private sector to meet Australia’s development objectives. Recognising that SMEs are major drivers of inclusive economic growth but often lack access to the capital they need to grow, EMIIF will invest in SME funds that target early and growth stage SMEs. EMIIF will use a range of instruments such as loans and equity and deploy blended finance instruments to encourage additional investment into SME funds from private investors. It will also provide technical assistance to SME funds and SMEs to enhance their commercial potential and development impact.
The fund will operate in countries across South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. It will invest across a variety of sectors including health, education, agriculture, financial inclusion, and access to small-scale renewable energy.
Achieving strong development impact, including progress on gender equality, will be fundamental to EMIIF’s operations. Its investment strategy embeds both impact and gender equality considerations to identify and make investments in SMEs that are women-led, provide products and services for women and girls, or promote gender equality in their workplaces.
EMIIF does not finance activities listed in the IFC Exclusion list. EMIIF investees will be expected to comply with DFAT Safeguards principles: Environmental and Social Safeguards, Child Protection Policy, Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment Policy and Fraud control.
Technical Assistance Strategy
EMIIF aims to address key gaps in the SME market in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific by providing technical assistance (TA) to the SME Funds in which it invests and their underlying SMEs. Specifically, EMIIF will provide:
- Technical assistance for SME funds: to support the impact and performance of SME Funds, with a focus on integrating best practices in impact management and GLI and investment readiness TA. The SME Fund TA is delivered by VOLTA.
- Technical assistance for SMEs: to support the performance and impact of select SMEs that SME funds invest in, including the integration of gender equality and impact management practices in business operations. The SME TA is delivered by MEDA and local consultants in the region.
EMIIF will mainstream impact and gender throughout the TA process including a gap analysis, co-creation of TA action plans, and delivery of TA for SME funds and SMEs.
- For SME funds, this will be carried out via training modules, with the objective to integrate impact management and GLI practices into SME Fund investment processes.
- For SMEs, MEDA’s Gender Equality Mainstreaming (“GEM”) framework will be used. GEM is a flexible and adaptive GLI tool that incorporates gender analyses to assess a company’s operations and identify, implement, and measure gender equality mainstreaming strategies to promote business growth.
Technical assistance is most effective when it is collaborative, flexible, demand-driven and when there is buy-in and willingness from the SME fund or SME. To be responsive to SME fund needs, other forms of TA such as investment readiness or business/financial management topics will be considered and explored together with the SME fund and SME participants.