The Service facility for Blended Finance Pillar is born out of the success of the Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs (RISE) project of Swisscontact and USAID to address the financial and non-financial barriers faced by early and growth enterprises and start-ups. RISE aimed to create impact for the base of the pyramid by providing inclusive and sustainable technical assistance (TA) to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with high potential for positive social and environmental impact.
Small and growing businesses (SGBs) face ongoing challenges in accessing capacity-building services that would enable them to absorb investment capital. These services are often unaffordable for SGBs, who face a $3.7 billion funding gap in Cambodia. Most SGBs belong to the “missing middle” segment, which suffers from underdeveloped leadership, technical knowledge, and strategic business management skills. This also creates challenges for impact investors, who encounter a low number of investment-ready businesses, a lack of investable pipeline, and a high cost of deal sourcing and due diligence, especially for investors without a local presence in the region.
Therefore, to address these challenges, the Entrepreneur Investment Support Facility (EIS) brand was designed to operate as a one-stop shop where entrepreneurs can access various forms of support through a pool of vetted consultants. EIS will collaborate with its investors and strategic partners to develop products and services tailored for investees and their supporters. These will include Investment Readiness, Post Investment Support, Matchmaking Services, and Pro-bono Networking. Moreover, EIS will provide quality services in core technical assistance areas through its pool of vetted consultants. EIS will also source new consultants to address specialty areas based on sectors, technology, and business type. EIS is part of the Service Facility for Blended Finance Pillar, which aims to enhance the impact of blended finance interventions in Cambodia.
The EIS platform aims to catalyze investment into Cambodia’s small and growing businesses (SGBs) by providing support through technical assistance. The facility will also contribute to bridging the funding gap, empowering the missing middle, enabling impact investors, and facilitating access to quality technical assistance.
At the Entrepreneur Investment Support Facility (EIS), the vision is to be the driving force in Cambodia's entrepreneurial landscape, filling the critical funding and capacity-building gaps faced by Small and Growing Businesses (SGBs). EIS strives to empower SGBs with the necessary resources, support, and expertise they need to become investment-ready and unleash their true potential.