SINGAPORE and TOKYO, July 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Atsushi Sunami) signed an agreement committing to invest USD 5 million in the Beacon Fund, providing added momentum to gender lens investing in Southeast Asia. This investment marks the beginning of a partnership between SPF and the Beacon Fund, a boundary-breaking gender lens investing fund focused on Southeast Asia. Through the support of SPF, the Beacon Fund will be able to further its mission of seeking out and investing in the “missing middle” of female-led and female-focused firms that have been overlooked by traditional sources of funding.

“While the topic of gender equality is often interpreted and discussed in the context of women’s empowerment, at its core, gender equality is an issue that effects all of us. We need to consider equality, inclusivity, diversity, and intersectionality on all dimensions and ensure all members of society have opportunities to prosper and thrive. Ensuring women’s economic empowerment and equal access to resources and opportunities is key, and we at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation will continue promoting gender lens investing in recognition of the important role that it plays in contributing to the economic development of the region, and in accelerating a more inclusive, dynamic, and sustainable development for all. We are confident that the Beacon Fund has an important role to play in helping to address problems facing female entrepreneurs when raising capital,” said Itsu Adachi, Executive Director of SPF.

“We deeply respect SPF’s commitment to building the gender lens investing ecosystem in the region. We are very happy to have found a committed partner who similarly wants to make finance work better for women. We are also proud that an Asian investor with deep roots and knowledge of the region has chosen to invest in Beacon, a fund born and rooted in Asia. We are excited about the opportunity to tap into each other’s networks and expertise to push the boundaries of gender lens investing,” said Beacon Fund’s Co-founder and CEO Shuyin Tang.

The Beacon Fund uses an evergreen structure to better align with Beacon’s long-term vision and commitment to supporting female entrepreneurs. Much like the companies it invests in, the Beacon Fund aims to generate steady cash-flows and long-term capital appreciation. To date, the Beacon Fund has raised almost half of its initial target of USD 50 million, and continues seeking like-minded partners who share its mission of making finance work better for women.

About the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF):
SPF is a Japanese private foundation established in 1986 to enhance international cooperation. In 2017, SPF announced the formation of Asia Women Impact Fund (AWIF), which aims to invest up to 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/en/ 

About the Beacon Fund:
Seeded by Patamar Capital, the Beacon Fund is the culmination of many years of engaging with and investing in female entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia through a number of impact investing funds. This led the Beacon team to identify a significant opportunity amongst the “missing middle” of firms which are too small for private equity, too big for microfinance, do not fit the growth profile of venture capital and are underserved by banks. The Beacon Fund’s initial focus will be on debt products, which tend to be a better fit for the moderate-growth, cash-flow positive businesses that the fund targets. Through its strategy, Beacon hopes to shine a light on alternative models of investing and entrepreneurial success. For additional information, please visit: https://beaconfund.com/