Women entrepreneurs face different challenges in doing business than their male counterparts. In traditionally male-dominated Southeast Asian societies, women entrepreneurs have fewer opportunities to grow their businesses. One of the reasons for this is the "unconscious bias" of investors and entrepreneur support organizations. Unconscious bias refers to assumptions or false perceptions, for example, that "women are not suited for business" or "women must choose between family and work." To overcome such "unconscious bias" and break through the gender gap in business, it is important that financial institutions, investors, entrepreneurial support organizations, and other actors who are part of the ecosystem surrounding women entrepreneurs have a gender perspective.
Based on an awareness of these issues, this project will strive to encourage both the demand and supply of funds, as well as to share information and strengthen network functions within that ecosystem. With regard to strengthening the gender perspective of entrepreneur support organizations, we will upgrade the Gender Lens Incubation Acceleration Toolkit (GLIA Toolkit), which is a set of instructions for entrepreneur support organizations developed in collaboration with the Australian government in the FY 2019 project, and also strengthen the network we have established with entrepreneur support organizations in the region. In addition, to strengthen the gender perspective of investors, we will provide training on gender perspectives and support for building networks among investors for individual investors who invest in entrepreneurs who are at the seed or early-stage.