Fighting poverty and striving for women empowerment
In September 2016 BlueOrchard Finance Ltd, a globally leading impact investment manager specialised in fostering inclusive finance and sustainable growth, launched Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund (JAWEF). It is the first fund investing with female micro entrepreneurs in the South East Asia* frontier and emerging markets.
Still today women are not given equal opportunity and in some countries remain excluded from the work force and entrepreneurship. Equality means business. Empowering women economically and socially is proven to lead to:
- Stronger economies;
- Better achievement of internationally set goals for development as well as sustainability;
- Improvement of quality of life not only for women, but entire families, communities and ultimately society at large.
JAWEF plans to invest USD 120 million in a diversified portfolio of mainly microfinance institutions focused on providing lending facilities predominantly to female micro and small entrepreneurs to empower women in South Asian and South East Asian countries*. This unique fund will have a fundamentally positive impact on society while reducing poverty.
Societe Generale Securities Services (SGSS) in Luxembourg has been mandated by BlueOrchard Finance Ltd, to provide a broad range of fund services for JAWEF. This joint project is led with Japanese investors and supported by the Japanese Government. SGSS was selected because of its proven capacity to provide services to AIFM and Alternative structures with dedicated services and operational set-up.
The fund further marks an important milestone in providing Japanese institutional investors with access to an additional asset class, securing attractive and uncorrelated returns whilst having a positive impact on the social and environmental conditions for the women who will benefit from this fund.
"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." Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan
"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." Peter Fanconi, Chairman BlueOrchard
"SGSS is extremely proud to have contributed to the successful launch of the first microfinance Luxembourg-based fund (Japan ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund) focusing on empowering women. Being custodian and administrator of the fund, SGSS contributes to these micro-finance industry initiatives and actively supports their values. We are happy to provide the appropriate support to BlueOrchard in its mission." Olivier Renault, Country Manager, SGSS Luxembourg
* South East Asian countries: Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, and Indonesia and South Asian Countries such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.