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July 1, 2020 – Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) announced the launch of the Emerging Markets Impact Investment Fund (EMIIF). The consortium is led by Sarona Asset Management as EMIIF’s Investment Manager. Other members of the consortium include MEDA who will provide technical assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while Volta Capital will provide technical assistance to SME Funds and financial intermediaries.

The AUD $40 million initiative is Australia’s newest and most innovative approach to development financing. EMIIF will strengthen and grow hundreds of high impact SMEs across Southeast Asia and the Pacific, helping the region to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with particular focus on Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam, PNG and Fiji.

This initiative will enhance DFAT’s bilateral investment capability, enabling the use of non-grant finance to crowd in private capital and improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises in the region.

EMIIF is a ‘fund of funds’ meaning it will invest in SME funds or financial intermediaries that invest in SMEs. EMIIF will set the standard for best practice impact management in the region by adopting and promoting a ‘gender lens investment’ approach. The fund will encourage investment in enterprises that are women-led, provide products or services that benefit women, or adopt gender-friendly workplace policies.

Read more about EMIIF on the DFAT website.