Alternative Pathways to Finance Impact
Alternative Pathways to Finance Impact


An exploration of the barriers and approaches to bridging the gap in early stage financing for SGBs. As well as the role of the ESOs to leverage the knowledge, skills and networks toward delivering a cost effective solution through case studies.


The impact investment ecosystem in Southeast Asia is alive and thriving, with structured investment funds, established impact metrics systems and intermediaries all in place.

Yet one piece of the impact capital puzzle has yet to be solved – the Asian elephant in the room – the Missing Middle and the lack of financing available in the $25,000 to $250,000 which is critical to early stage growth.

Globally, the market has seen early movers utilising appropriate and alternative capital to begin to unlock the missing middle, but this has not gained traction yet in South East Asia. These approaches allow for new forms of tailored capital based on the needs of the entrepreneurs themselves, whilst fulfilling the expectations of impact investors.

By utilising a demand side lens, we can further identify the characteristics of these deals and factors that need to be in place, to create pathways to bridge The Missing Middle in the Southeast Asian context.


Ian Jones

Founder and Technical Advisor

Agile DG

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This report provides a structured framework for understanding how capital can be adapted to better meet the needs of SGBs in the emerging economies of South and Southeast Asia.

It highlights examples of investments that have ‘fixed the capital’ rather than focus on ‘fixing’ SGBs through technical assistance until they meet predetermined investment readiness standards.

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Shravan Shankar: