UNEP supports Pioneer Facility to drive funding for women-led climate projects in Asia

Supporting women-led climate enterprises in Southeast Asia
Financing social enterprises that benefit women and other marginalized communities

Climate-friendly and women-led enterprises in Asia will benefit from USD 7 million in private financing through the Pioneer Facilitya flexible debt financing fund that supports multiple low-carbon projects and social enterprises across Asia. This facility is fundraising additional investment capital with the support of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which is playing a catalytic role by implementing a grant-based risk reducing mechanism to attract private investments into the facility. This risk-reducing mechanism was implemented with grant funding from the Governments of Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland through the EmPower: Women for Climate-Resilient Societies Phase II (EmPower) programme, jointly implemented by UNEP and UN Women.

The facility will disburse the loans through 2027 to climate-focused small and medium enterprises. 40 per cent of these loans are earmarked for enterprises that meet gender lens criteria. Beneficiaries can receive up to USD 500,000 in flexible debt financing, with no collateral. Enterprises that are women-focused and benefit underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply. The Pioneer Facility, is managed by UNEP partner Nexus for Development, an international non-profit with operations in Cambodia, with expertise in debt and carbon finance and funder of multiple low-carbon projects across the region.

 “We have had the opportunity to work with the EmPower project since 2019, when we partnered on their feasibility study to assess the financial landscape of women’s led or women’s supported businesses in Cambodia,” said Laura Alsenas, Executive Director of Nexus for Development.

We’re incredibly proud to now be working with the team on this next phase, where we can drive funds to enterprises that are ready to scale their impact in the climate space across Asia and bring considerable environmental and social benefits for women and other marginalized groups in these communities.”

The Pioneer Facility helps SMEs to scale climate positive low-carbon, clean water, clean energy, and waste management solutions and bring positive benefits to low-income communities, women, and marginalized groups.

While large companies and institutions implementing renewable energy projects can access finance with relatively less difficulty, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, in particular those led by women, continue to face barriers. That is why the focus of EmPower through the Pioneer Facility is to ensure that affordable finance for clean energy is accessible to women and marginalized communities, contributing to a gender just energy transition,” said Parimita Mohanty, Programme Management Officer, UNEP.

EmPower aims to strengthen gender equality and human rights in climate change and disaster risk reduction in the Asia and Pacific region. By investing in the Pioneer Facility, EmPower, will increase its reach in priority markets, including Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam.

For more information visit the Call for Applications URL: http://www.nexusfordevelopment.org/campaign

Annual Platinum Partners

Annual Gold Partners

Founding Chambers & National Chapters