Learnings from the Field


“It takes a community”: Enabling SME resilience in FMCG supply chains


Businesses in Southeast Asia face compounding issues of climate change, regulatory shifts and increasing economic pressures against the backdrop of global geopolitical uncertainties.

As businesses race to adapt to these changes, small and medium-enterprises (SMEs) within larger supply chains will need to manage the dual challenges of increasing client and regulatory expectations while addressing disruptive changes on the ground.

SMEs are often limited in resources and influence relative to multinational buyers (MNCs) and downstream stakeholders, yet their ability to adapt and thrive in the face of shifting external pressures is not just a matter of the survival of individual businesses but will ultimately determine the broader industry’s collective resilience and sustainability.

The Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP) and PwC Singapore have collaborated to develop an introductory report to shed light on how SMEs in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are perceiving and responding to sustainability-related challenges.

Drawing on consultations with small and medium-enterprises, larger corporates and civil society organisations, this overview seeks to cast a spotlight on the urgency of key sustainability-related issues in the industry and their potential impacts if not addressed. In addition, this report outlines principles and approaches for stakeholders to help strengthen supply chain resilience and sustainability.

The primary goal of this overview is to provide an introduction to the highly complex and multidimensional nature of the sustainability challenges that affect FMCG SMEs in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. Through this introductory report, we aim to identify key areas and efficiencies for further investigation and investment that will bridge the gap between the current capacity and future necessities of the industry in this region.

Download “It takes a community”: Enabling SME resilience in FMCG supply chains here



Financial Inclusion in Post-COVID Southeast Asia: Accelerating Impact Beyond Access Case Studies


This compilation of eight case studies was developed in conjunction with the 2023 Financial Inclusion study “Financial Inclusion in Post-COVID Southeast Asia: Accelerating Impact Beyond Access”. It is a collection of stories of how financial services providers (FSPs) in Southeast Asia have gone beyond the provision of financial services to make conscious efforts to address underserved markets. These case studies reveal how these FSPs have done so by assessing their contributions to the financial health of their customers and monitoring the impact of their services.

This compilation is put together by the Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP) in partnership with the eight FSPs featured in this compilation: Amartha (Indonesia), BPI Direct BanKo (The Philippines), Funding Societies (Southeast Asia), Growsari (The Philippines), KoinWorks (Indonesia), Noburo (Thailand), TYM (Vietnam), and Vui App (Vietnam).

It is intended as an accompaniment to the 2023 Financial Inclusion study, which had contributions from 60 organisations, including industry associations and investors, 31 FSPs and over 8,500 customers across six markets in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam).

Each case study delves into a unique approach adopted by the FSP, and showcases their efforts to address specific challenges and create lasting impact in their respective communities. From empowering MSMEs to providing specialised services for low-income women, these companies showcase the diverse strategies which can be deployed to drive financial inclusion and uplift livelihoods.

The studies in the following pages provide deeper insights into how each FSP identified key challenges to accessing financial services for specific customer segments, developed theories of change to directly address pain points faced by these customers, and put in place processes to assess the impact of their business operations. These are concrete examples from active practitioners who have demonstrated that profit and purpose can come together for positive financial health outcomes for customers.

We are grateful to the FSPs featured for their time, insights, and willingness to share their journeys, so that others may be similarly inspired.

Download the studies here.

Financial Inclusion in Post-COVID Southeast Asia: Accelerating Impact Beyond Access


The Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (“CIIP”), in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and Helicap, supported by 60 Decibels (60dB), developed this report on financial inclusion with the following objectives:

  1. Provide an overview of financial inclusion in Southeast Asia post COVID-19
  2. Paint today’s competitive landscape and compare business models of key actors today, namely credit providers such as Traditional financial services providers (FSPs) and digital financial services (DFS) providers
  3. Highlight best practices among FSPs innovating to achieve positive impact incomes for the unserved and underserved while remaining commercially viable
  4. Share deep customer-level insights into the impact of credit
  5. Indicate potential areas to expand reach and improve impact

Published in June 2023, this study covers Southeast Asia as a region, with particular focus on Cambodia, Indonesia, The Philippines, and Vietnam. It shares insights from interviews with FSPs, investors, and industry associations, enterprise-level business and loan book data, and a customer survey with over 6,500 customers across the region. 

Financial Inclusion: Paving the Way to a Sustainable Future

In total, 60 organisations contributed their time and energy to our study. Between October 2022 and June 2023, we conducted 50 industry interviews, collected enterprise data (enterprise survey and anonymised loan data) from 27 FSPs, and surveyed nearly 8,500 end-customers of 31 FSPs across Southeast Asia. 

This study offers clear indications of the promising investment opportunities and most successful business models and practices to accelerate positive impact for underserved customers through access to credit. Southeast Asia continues to be well-positioned to make strides in financial inclusion. Moving ahead, we look forward to working with our stakeholders to drive the sector forward, together.

Download the report here.

Download the addendum "Southeast Asia Financial Service Providers 2023 Impact Report" here.

Scaling Impact in Asia:
Achieving Purpose and Profit 


The Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (“CIIP”), together with Accenture and Singapore Management University, developed this field report to achieve three objectives:

  1. To illustrate the on-the-ground conversations about impact investing and practices that we hope to engender;
  2. To raise awareness of the inspiring impact work that is already underway in Asia; and
  3. To convene more discussions on how we can collectively deliver more impact in Asia, for Asia.  

Published in June 2022, the report shares insights from in-depth interviews and discussions with investors and businesses. It features case studies on the impact journeys of regional players and puts forward preliminary ideas on how we can advance the impact ecosystem in Asia together.

This field report is the first of many that CIIP will produce. Future iterations will go further into the field, delve deeper into specific impact topics, and bring to life more stories to inspire.

Insights from Practitioners in Asia

Between January and April 2022, we conducted interviews with many investors and businesses across the impact space in Southeast Asia, India, and China. In this report, we summarise the key learnings and insights from our rich discussions, which covers broad topics of impact motivation, strategy, measurement, accountability, challenges, and success.

Download the report here.


Perspectives: Investors And Companies


Building Blocks to Scale up Impact


The Journey Ahead for Asia


“Investing for impact is at a critical inflection point today, where there is a growing need for stakeholders to establish and adopt independent international standards, practical tools, and consistent practices.

With Asia’s diverse communities and deep impact potential, having common management practice standards in areas such as data collection and impact measurement is crucial. To strengthen impact integrity, market trust and confidence, managing for impact must be underpinned by assurance. All of these elements combined will drive the momentum further for impact investing here.

As the anchor partner for UNDP in Asia, Temasek Trust and its CIIP is well-positioned to engender the development of investing for the SDGs and support the UNDP’s mission towards a sustainable future for everyone."

- Marcos Athias Neto
Director, UNDP Sustainable Finance Hub

“More global investors and companies today are recognizing the need to chart clear pathways towards sustainability. Asia will be instrumental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, given its deep potential for generating impact at scale. Through research, collaboration, and action, the CIIP is building an ecosystem that will shape the future of impact investing in Asia.” 

- Amit Bouri
CEO and Co-Founder of the GIIN

“Impact investing is no doubt a critical tool to close the SDG gaps in Asia, but for this sector to flourish, it requires all stakeholders to collaborate. As the world's largest network of Social Investors in Asia, we at AVPN are thrilled to see the launch of CIIP; a knowledge hub to bring such stakeholders together to take positive action.”

- Naina Subberwal Batra
Chairman and CEO of AVPN

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