Women across Asia play a key role in supporting their households and communities. They are the backbone of agriculture and rural enterprises, fuelling local and global economies. Targeting women magnifies the impact of development initiatives, allowing them to reach a far wider audience. For instance, if women had the same access to productive resources as men they could increase yields by 20-30%, raising total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5-4% and reduce the number of hungry people by 12-17%.
Yet, around the world, women and girls face persistent structural constraints that prevent them from fully enjoying their human rights and hamper their efforts to improve their lives as well as those of others around them. Women work 2/3 of the world’s working hours and produce 1/2 the world’s food, yet they earn only 10% of global income.
There are myriad Social Entrepreneurs (a new wave of people who see to generate both social and financial returns with business) across the region that are trying to empower women with the access to skills, capital and market linkages to overcome these issues. However, majority of these entrepreneurs face liquidity issues and struggle to scale operations and sustain their impact.
Shujog ACTS is a revolving fund that provides a working capital extension to social entrepreneurs that funds Technical Assistance to help these organizations become investment ready and reach the next level of growth by raising capital from Impact Investors to fuel expansion and amplify impact. Impact Investors seek to redefine the way we think about finance - investing in enterprises that have potential to tackle massive development challenges like climate change and poverty by using a market based approach. The Impact Investing industry reached a massive $46 billion in 2014 and in expected to grow to $1 trillion by 2020.
What makes ACTS unique is that once the Social Enterprise successfully raises capital, the initial money is repaid to the fund, allowing it to rotate, sustain itself and lend to more social enterprises - thereby catalyzing the entire ecosystem! This innovative approach effectively links development with finance and has the potential to unlock massive amounts of private sector capital to advance Asia's development agenda.
To learn more about how Shujog ACTS aims to transform lives across Asia, check out the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4uUtv7QklQand visit acts.shujog.org to become a part of the story!
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Launched in October 2013, Shujog ACTS (Assistance for Capacity-building and Technical Services) is an award winning program of Impact Investment Shujog, a non profit Social Enterprise (SE) based in Singapore that is dedicated to strengthening, deepening and expanding the impact SEs deliver in poor and vulnerable communities. This market-based approach to technical assistance provision reinforces the spirit of social entrepreneurship by reducing a SE’s dependence on grants. Additionally, it facilitates more SEs receiving the investment readiness support they need to attract impact investment, grow their operations, and magnify their impact. Shujog ACTS operates throughout the Asia Pacific region in high-impact sectors including agriculture, health, education, energy, and water & sanitation. To date, 100,000 underserved people have benefited from the program. To be a learn more and become a part of the Shujog ACTS community visit acts.shujog.org.