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SEAF to fund female-led SMEs in VN

Update: August, 24/2017 - 07:00
The Small Enterprise Assistance Funds has announced the lauch of a fund to invest in women-led firms in Việt Nam. — File Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), the Washington-headquartered investment management group, has announced the launch of a fund to invest in women-led firms in Việt Nam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund (SWOF) for Southeast Asia will seek opportunities to make equity and structured debt investments in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) led by women in the region.

The SWOF is targeting funding between US$500,000 and $2 million in growth-oriented companies and businesses that are creating positive social and environmental impacts.

Đinh Thu Trang, the fund’s investment director in Việt Nam, said: “SMEs owned by women account for 25% of the total number of SMEs in Việt Nam, and typically focus on services, a greener sector of the economy.”

A 2016 study on SMEs owned by women in Việt Nam showed that one of the major disadvantages of women-led SMEs, compared to those managed by men, was that it was generally more difficult to access funding and markets, owing to cultural and social obstacles, Trang said.

This was a gap in the capital market and an opportunity for an impact investment fund like the SWOF, she said. The fund’s establishment, together with other sources of funding that prioritised female entrepreneurs, would contribute to economic growth as well as improve women’s standing and narrow the gender gap, Trang added. - VNS


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