Beacon Fund, an investment firm supporting female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia including Vietnam, has received $5 million investment from Japan-based Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
|Beacon Fund is supporting female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia |
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) signed an agreement committing to invest $5 million in the Beacon Fund, providing added momentum to gender lens investing in Southeast Asia. Through the support of SPF, the Beacon Fund will be able to further its mission of seeking out and investing in the “missing middle” of female-led and female-focused firms that have been overlooked by traditional sources of funding.
“While the topic of gender equality is often interpreted and discussed in the context of women’s empowerment, at its core, gender equality is an issue that effects all of us. We need to consider equality, inclusivity, diversity and intersectionality on all dimensions and ensure all members of society have opportunities to prosper and thrive," said Itsu Adachi, executive director of SPF.
He added that ensuring women’s economic empowerment and equal access to resources and opportunities plays an important role in contributing to the economic development of the region, and in accelerating a more inclusive, dynamic and sustainable development for all. He believed that the Beacon Fund will contribute to resolving the problems that female entrepreneurs encounter when raising capital.
“We deeply respect SPF’s commitment to building the gender lens investing ecosystem in the region. We are very happy to have found a committed partner who similarly wants to make finance work better for women. We are also proud that an Asian investor with deep roots and knowledge of the region has chosen to invest in Beacon, a fund born and rooted in Asia. We are excited about the opportunity to tap into each other’s networks and expertise to push the boundaries of gender lens investing.” said Beacon Fund’s co-founder and CEO, Shuyin Tang.
The Beacon Fund uses an evergreen structure to better align with Beacon’s long-term vision and commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs. Much like the companies it invests in, the Beacon Fund aims to generate steady cash-flows and long-term capital appreciation. To date, the Beacon Fund has raised almost half of its initial target of $50 million, and continues seeking like-minded partners who share its mission of making finance work better for women.
The Beacon Fund provide fit-for-purpose financing for women-owned businesses and businesses that primarily and intentionally serve women and girls. Its geographic focus is Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, with opportunistic investments elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Gender lens investing, at its core, is the practice of investing for financial returns while considering the benefits to women, both through improving economic opportunities and social well-being for girls and women.