Macquarie Group Foundation invests in women-led businesses

Published November 18, 2020, 1:43 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Macquarie Group Foundation has joined the Australian government initiative to fund women led and owned small and medium enterprises in Southeast Asian region with investments of more than P43 million (or AUD 1.25 million).

The Investing in Women RISE Fund-Responsive Interventions Supporting Entrepreneurs by the Australian government seeks to inject catalytic capital for women, who have been disproportionately affected especially during this pandemic. The Fund offsets COVID-19 impacts on women-owned and women-led businesses and provides much needed liquidity in a capital constrained market.

The Macquarie-Investing in Women RISE Fund was formally launched on 17 November 2020 at a signing ceremony led by the Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, HE Steven J. Robinson AO, and Eric Yaptangco, Division Director, Manila Technology and Office Head, Macquarie Group.

“Women will play a central role in the recovery from COVID-19 and should have an equal part in a more resilient, inclusive, and broad-based Philippine economy. The Macquarie Investing in Women RISE Fund will support and give a boost to women’s SMEs and help to build back better in the Philippines,”

explained Ambassador Robinson AO. “Closing the gap between women’s and men’s access to capital will provide a significant boost to economic growth at a time when it is much needed.”

This public-private alliance will work through two local investing partners: Foundation for a Sustainable Society Incorporated (FSSI) and InBestCap Ventures (InBest). The Fund will enable these partners to provide much needed investments to women’s SMEs which will have a multiplier effect in the local economy, creating and sustaining more than 200 full-time jobs.

In addition, the investment partners (FSSI and InBest) are committed to strengthening the gender lens investing ecosystem in the Philippines, encouraging other investors to ensure women entrepreneurs can access funding to grow their businesses.

“The Macquarie-Investing in Women RISE Fund will ensure that women entrepreneurs can access the funding required to adapt and respond to emerging business opportunities during the critical recovery period in the region. Working through impact investors, our support will help businesses to restart economic activity in hard-hit areas of the Philippines,” said Lisa George, Global Head, Macquarie Group Foundation.

Augusto Camba, Chief Executive Officer of inBEST, said, “Our rich experience in working with various enterprises and funders, and in developing and managing investment deals that generate positive development impact will help build good and lasting business  relationships with clients and partners. With support from Investing in Women and the Macquarie Group Foundation, we expect to assist more women-owned and -led enterprises, catalyze more resources, rise above the present challenges, and contribute to economic recovery in the Philippines.”

For her part, FSSI Board Member Christie Rowena C. Plantilla cited the Macquarie Investing in Women RISE Fund, which, when cost-shared with our own resources, will help women’s SMEs access much needed capital to emerge stronger from the economic crisis.

“Now more than ever, we must invest in sustainable communities driven and responsive to the needs of women,” said Plantilla.