The Sasakawa Peace Foundation to invest up to USD 30 million in the JAPAN ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund

2019.9.17

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Minato-ku, Tokyo, Chairman: Nobuo Tanaka) signed an agreement committing to invest in the JAPAN ASEAN Women Empowerment Fund (JAWEF), a microfinance investment fund managed by BlueOrchard Finance Ltd.
 
JAWEF was launched in 2016 with the aim of empowering women and improving financial access for low income women by expanding financing to microfinance institutions that focus on the empowerment of women in Asia, particularly ASEAN countries. JAWEF has been highly effective in delivering on its impact objectives by financing 21 microfinance institutions across 7 countries.
 
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) continues to support projects that empower women to achieve gender equality in society, in accordance with SPF’s five priority goals.  This investment in JAWEF is part of the foundation’s impact investment portfolio through the Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF).
 
JAWEF will double in size to scale its impact across Asia, and SPF plans to invest up to USD 30 million as a new partner and investor. The Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC),and leading Japanese institutional investors including Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, are also supporting JAWEF’s expansion by increasing their participation on a pro rata basis.
 
SPF is committed to improving gender equality and empowering women in Asia by continuing to make investments and operating programs through AWIF. The foundation also seeks to support efforts to direct investments toward realizing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG5, which targets achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
 
Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF
In 2017, SPF announced the formation of Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF), which aims to invest about USD 100 million from its endowment to work towards a future where all women in Asia are empowered to reach their full potential. The fund aims to realize this vision by making investments to achieve favorable outcomes for women across Asia and to support women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. 
For additional information, please visit: https://www.spf.org/awif/
 
BlueOrchard Finance Ltd
BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment manager. The firm is dedicated to fostering inclusive and climate-smart growth, while providing attractive returns for investors. BlueOrchard was founded in 2001, by initiative of the UN, as the world’s first commercial manager of microfinance debt investments. Today, BlueOrchard provides investors around the world with premium investment solutions, including credit, private equity, and sustainable infrastructure. Being an expert in innovative blended finance mandates, the firm is a trusted partner of leading global development finance institutions. With a major global presence and offices on four continents, BlueOrchard has invested to date more than USD 6bn across 80 emerging and frontier markets, enabling tangible social and environmental impact. BlueOrchard is a licensed Swiss asset manager of collective investment schemes authorized by FINMA. Its Luxembourg entity, BlueOrchard Asset Management S.A., is a licensed UCITS management company as well as a licensed alternative investment fund manager (AIFM) authorized by CSSF. For additional information, please visit: www.blueorchard.com.

Please direct all inquiries to:
Media Relations Division, Sasakawa Peace Foundation
Email: spfpr@spf.or.jp
Phone: 03-5157-5398

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