UN ESCAP: Inviting applications for ‘Request for Applications – Women Enterprise Impact Investment Fund: Partnering to Unlock Investment Capital for Women Enterprises’ to partner and provide grant funding for-1) the establishment of a women enterprise impact investment fund; or 2) to expand an existing impact investment fund to specifically focus on women enterprises in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Funding brief: ESCAP seeks to partner and provide grant funding for 1) the establishment of a women enterprise impact investment fund; or 2) to expand an existing impact investment fund to specifically focus on women enterprises in the Asia-Pacific Region.

ESCAP’s call for applications asks applicants to take a gender lens investing approach, meaning investing with the specific intent to create a positive impact on women. The impact investment fund should specifically focus on supporting women enterprises. This can be in the form of investing in enterprises which are majority owned by women (51%), managed by a woman, majority of the board members are women, and/or supporting enterprises which support, empower and develop the capacities of women.

Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship
The Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship project is a five-year initiative, aimed at addressing three key overarching barriers faced by women entrepreneurs:
Enabling policy environment and regulatory challenges;
Access to finance;
Use of information and communication technologies (ICT) by women entrepreneurs.

Overall, the project aims to crowd-in investment capital, competition and innovation, and increase the range and reach of services supporting women entrepreneurs.

Donor Name: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Funding name: Request for Applications – Women Enterprise Impact Investment Fund: Partnering to Unlock Investment Capital for Women Enterprises

Deadline: Deadline to submit applications-4th, October, 2019, 23:59 ICT

Funding details link: Click to view

Funding limit: Successful applications will receive:
Up to US$ 1.3 million in grant funding
Technical assistance
Support for applicants requiring regulatory approval

Selected applicants will receive up to US$ 1.3 million in grant funding to support the Impact Investment Fund’s operational development/expansion costs, legal fees, identification/building an investor network, market research, identification of investable women enterprises, portfolio management, capacity building and monitoring of impact.

ESCAP will work closely with the grantee to ensure strong project delivery and results. This will include where required, expertise and technical assistance, and coordination and support for regulatory approvals that may be required.

Special Notes: Please contact with the donor directly for further clarification and understanding.

Project start date: Not Found
Project duration: Not Found

Eligible organization: As below

Eligibility: Applications are open to all organizations which hold a not-for-profit status. A proof of the organization’s not-for-profit status will be required as part of the application process. While for-profit institutions are not eligible to apply as a lead applicant (meaning the institution in which ESCAP would sign the grant agreement), if a for-profit institution would like to partner with a not-for-profit institution who is applying as the lead applicant, this is acceptable. Therefore, private sector institutions who are interested in this project, are encouraged to seek partnership with a not-for-profit institution which is applying as the lead institution in the application.

Applications are also open to other UN, government and multilateral entities, who have the skills and expertise in developing similar initiatives.

Minimum qualification criteria
Applications are open to all organizations which hold a not-for-profit status provided that the applicant demonstrate prior experience and capability of proposed staff members in creating or managing an Impact Investment Fund. A proof of the organization’s not-for-profit status will be required as part of the application process. Applications are also open to other UN entities, government and multilateral organizations who have the skills and expertise in developing similar initiatives.
Have proven understanding of Asia-Pacific region and can legally operate in the targeted countries mentioned.
Provide written confirmation (Annex 1) that the organization has reviewed the ESCAP Letter of Agreement template and Agreement Terms and Conditions and is prepared to sign it without revision to ESCAP’s standard legal text.
• The application submission must be complete and received on time.

Other requirements and qualifications
Previous experience with impact investment funds, in the context of the Asia-Pacific region.
Have a strong network of investors willing to invest in a women enterprise impact investment fund.
Existing investor capital or institutional capital to support the initiation of the fund.
Confirmed human resources to cover all planned/required activities.
Current presence in the Asia-Pacific region preferred.
Previous experience in targeted countries preferred.
Experience working with financial institutions, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, impact investors, donors, guarantee funds and/or stock exchanges.
Experience working with international organisations and understanding of the challenges of working with them preferred.
Commitment and ability to provide on-site resources (e.g. staff, consultants) as needed.

Eligible Country: The applicant can be based anywhere globally, however the Women Enterprise Impact Fund must invest in women enterprises in one or all of the below target countries:
● Pacific: Fiji, Samoa,
● 
South Asia: Bangladesh, Nepal
● 
South-East Asia: Cambodia, Viet Nam

It is highly desired that applicants strive to launch the fund in all 6 of the target countries, or in target countries covering all 3 regions.

 Submission mail: escap-cwe@un.org

Other important link:
Guideline: Click to view
Proposal Form (Form-Technical): Click to view
Proposal Form (Budget): Click to view
About: Click to view
FAQ: Click to view
Annex 1: Submission Confirmation Letter: Click to view

How to apply: Applications should be returned to ESCAP by email to escap-cwe@un.org  with the subject line: RFA-ESCAP-Women Enterprise Impact Investment Fund no later than midnight on 04/10/2019.

Please also ensure that the following annexes are also submitted with the application (no template has been provided for these documents and the applicant is welcome to use any format):
Annex 2 – Resume/CV’s of all project team members involved in the project
Annex 3 – Proof of the organization’s not-for-profit status. (This is not applicable for other UN entities).
Annex 4 – Organizations 2018 financial statement (in English)
Annex 5 – Limited Partner’s profile including name of fund/individual or company

The deliverables, as well as any and all related correspondence exchanged by the organization and ESCAP, shall be written in English.

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