Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a Singapore-based facilitator of investment in social enterprises, recently announced that it has raised USD 8 million via a “Women’s Livelihood Bond” issue to support women-owned businesses in Southeast Asia. The funds are to be supplied to microfinance institutions and other organizations supporting women for purposes including financing business equipment, materials and tuition for vocational training. The bond is backed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), an institution of the US government, which is guaranteeing half of the principal amount. IIX is floating the bond on The Singapore Exchange, offering a total return of 5.65 percent over four years.
IIX is a for-profit entity that was founded in 2009 by Durreen Shahnaz, an adjunct associate professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. As of 2017, IIX has facilitated the investment of USD 22 million in approximately 30 enterprises in Asia.
USAID is a government agency that provides international assistance in spheres such as economic growth, agriculture, trade, health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. Under its Development Credit Authority (DCA), it provides credit guarantees that cover up to 50 percent of defaults on wholesale loans made by private financial institutions to retail lenders serving low-income borrowers. USAID’s budget totals USD 22.7 billion for 2017.
By Ryan Gauthier, Research Associate
Sources and Additional Resources
Southeast Asia Globe:
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Impact Investment Exhange Asia (IIX) Launches Impact Accelerator in Philippines to Provide Financial, Operational Support to Early-Stage Social Enterprises:
MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Farmers to Receive Microloans via Credit Cards Arranged by CARE Bangladesh, DAM, mPower, USAID:
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