Strategy formulation and execution support for social impact investment in Southeast and South Asia
A growing number of startup companies are taking on the challenge of creating businesses that balance social impact and economic returns to address social issues in developing countries. To explore impact investment schemes that support these companies, we worked with JICA for two years to survey the current status of impact investment in Vietnam, Indonesia, and India, and explored a new support program for JICA by providing actual support to six startup companies.
This project was divided into two phases: Exploration of JICA’s impact investment ecosystem support strategy, and updating the strategy by providing actual support to startup companies.
Phase 1：Exploration of JICA’s impact investment ecosystem support strategy (one year)
We compiled a list of major policy objectives and social issues in three sectors (health and medical care, public health, and agriculture) in the three target countries, and conducted an exhaustive screening of promising startups both in Japan and abroad as well as Japanese companies with technologies that could contribute to resolving these issues. In addition, through research and analysis of the activities of other supporting organizations, we examined the functions (impact investment funds and technical assistance) that JICA should provide to developing countries to expand impact investment.
Phase 2：Support for startup companies in developing countries (one year)
Based on the results of Phase 1, we selected two social startups in each country (Vietnam, Indonesia, and India), and JICA and DI took the lead in verifying Product Market Fit (PMF) in the local market. Specifically, JICA and DI provided support to the six selected startups for over six months from both a business perspective (applicability of services and technologies to the local market, etc.) and an impact perspective (establishment and measurement of social impact measurement schemes). Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, all six companies achieved PMF and successfully measured their social impact.
Example of a company that took part in this PMF-support program: Regional Fish Institute, Ltd.