Financing the Missing Middle in Southeast Asia

Event Details
  • June 6th, Wednesday, 2:30pm - 4:00pm
  • Breakout Room 330
Dr. Peter Brimble

Dr. Peter Brimble

Senior Technical Advisor (Private Sector Development), The DaNa Facility

Read session notes here.

Session Description

Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of Southeast Asian economies, making up 89%-99% of all enterprises and 52%-97% of total employment. The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 necessitates inclusive growth for all, especially the MSME sector, as ASEAN continues to surge ahead as the third largest market in the world.

Nonetheless, MSMEs in the region are still facing formidable barriers in access to finance. There exists a sizeable ‘missing middle’ where MSMEs in early- to growth-stages remain underserved by financiers. Research by the ASEAN CSR Network, Oxfam and AVPN shows that this gap ranges from USD5,000 to USD200,000. The problem is even more pronounced for women entrepreneurs, who do not generally receive the same level of resources as men to tackle financial challenges.

This session will discuss ways in which mainstream and alternative financing mechanisms – from bank loans, venture capital, private equity to impact investment – can effectively fill the ‘missing middle’, especially as a mechanism to promote responsible and inclusive enterprises in Southeast Asia. Emphasis will also be given to technical support provided to entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.

Key Takeaways:

  • The overall MSME financing landscape in 10 ASEAN member states
  • Challenges and solutions to provide different types of financing to MSMEs, with a focus on responsible and inclusive enterprises
  • The role of policy, mainstream and alternative financing mechanisms and how they can work together.


  • Jennifer Louie

    Jennifer Louie

    Executive Director Nexus for Development

  • Ganesha Lubis

    Ganesha Lubis

    SME Product Competitiveness Enhancement Sub Division Head Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, Indonesia

  • Valencia Dea

    Valencia Dea

    Principal ANGIN (Angel Investment Network Indonesia)

  • Shweta Shukla

    Shweta Shukla

    Director, Sustainable Business & Communications UNILEVER ASIA PTE LTD

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