Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs

The Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs (RISE) Platform is a USAID funded, Swisscontact implemented platform that provides business development support (BDS) services and technical assistance (TA) to companies with potential for impact in Southeast Asia. RISE aims to create impact for the base of the pyramid through providing inclusive and sustainable support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with high potential for positive social, economic, and environmental impact.

RISE operates within the ASEAN region. It currently works in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam and in later years plans to add Laos PDR and Myanmar. RISE priority sectors include agriculture, digital platforms and solutions, energy, health, water and sanitation.

Phnom pen, cambodia
vientiane, laos
yangon, myanmar
manila, philipines
hanoi, vietnam
Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar
Project duration
2017 - 2021
Financed by

The project

RISE provides pre and post-investment TA for high impact enterprises through a pool of vetted consultants. The pre-investment TA is designed to support SMEs as they work to become investment ready and assist investors in building pipeline of investees. The post-investment TA provides business support to companies that receive investment funds. This business support is meant to help mitigate risks for investors and support more resilient growth for high impact enterprises. It is also meant to help SMEs move from one round of funding to the next more successfully. RISE can access full-cost, specialized consultancies as well as pro- and low-bono options.

Unique features of RISE include:

  • Innovative: RISE is one of few programs that takes a multi-country, multi-investor, multi-sector, multi-donor approach, allowing it to truly work with all kinds of impactful enterprises.
  • Growth stage companies: When RISE works with investor partners, it works with companies that are beyond the pre-seed/ seed stage and hence more likely to scale.
  • Tailored TA products: From the areas of TA coverage to the models of matchmaking and repayment, RISE’s TA products have been crafted to serve the needs of entrepreneurs and investors.
  • Quality TA providers: Finding a quality consultant can be challenging for companies. RISE’s consultancy pool is vetted, open-source, and dynamic. Only consultancies with consistently positive reviews will remain in the pool.
  • Matchmaking services: RISE does not prescribe one consultant. We offer multiple options and create space for the company management team in conjunction with the investor to choose the best fit based on skill, approach, price, and personality.
  • A flexible and fast one-stop shop: In addition to core business development areas, RISE can source uniquely qualified consultants as needed. We can even source the company or investor’s preferred provider after a simple vetting process. The process is lean, allowing us to meet needs quickly.
  • Creating opportunities for local consultants: RISE often works with local consultancy firms and individuals to provide BDS and TA to SMEs in the region.
  • Multi-stakeholder platform: Often TA facilities align with one investor or fund. RISE is open to many investors, ranging from impact to angel to venture capital – if the investees achieve demonstrable SDG impact. Additionally, RISE can partner with intermediaries such as incubators, accelerators, brokers, and others.
  • Repayable grant: The RISE TA repayable grant includes a down payment to generate ownership and delayed repayments – based on forthcoming investments or business growth – to increase accessibility and affordability.
  • Sustainable model: The RISE platform operates through a blended revolving fund model. Through RISE, donor grant funding is catalytic, establishing a platform that generates revenue as SMEs pay back a cost of the TA they receive, plus concessionary operating costs.
  • Scalable model: As RISE provides TA through an expandable pool of by external consultants – as opposed to a fixed team of employees – it is easier to scale the number of SMEs and the types of TA offered.

RISE is designed to be a platform through which additional donors can channel funds to support social impact entrepreneurs and investors. This creates flexibility in programming and allows RISE to take on new intervention areas as strategic market needs are identified, and funds become available.

In 2019 RISE began work with the Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) which partners with Credit Suisse on an Investment Readiness Toolkit program for the region. RISE supports two of the social impact companies participating in AVPN’s program: Ecodoe in Indonesia and HiGi in the Philippines.

RISE is also working in 2020 to expand strategic partnerships with pro and low-bono providers of business development support services. We currently partner with Credit Suisse’s Virtual Volunteers, CrossFields, and Swisscontact’s Senior Expert Contact (SEC) project; we are in advanced discussions with other regional and global providers of these services. RISE aims to link social impact companies in the region with various sources of affordable expertise.

To discuss potential collaboration with RISE, please contact .


In 2019 RISE facilitated support for six companies through seven TA assignments: six full costs assignments and one pro bono. This includes pre-investment TA for Ecodoe in Indonesia, HiGi Energy in the Philippines, and Natural Agricultural Village and NatureWild in Cambodia and post-investment TA for Kennemer Foods International in the Philippines and Khmer Water Supply Holdings in Cambodia. RISE has deployed roughly USD 120,000 worth of TA and facilitated over 2,000 hours of TA - 300 hours per company on average.

After receiving support from the consultancy Empassion, Ecodoe in Indonesia is now receiving remote support from Credit Suisse “Virtual Volunteers” pro bono programme. After five months working with Empassion, Ecodoe raised SGD 10k during the “Young Social Entrepreneurs Pitching for Change” event organised by DBS Foundation and the Singapore International Foundation. Participating in DBS’s Social Enterprise bootcamp is part of Ecodoe’s effort to raise USD 200,000.


Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Tailored investment readiness TA supports Ecodoe to raise capital and pivot during the pandemic
“For every challenge, we believe it raises an opportunity to be better,” emphasizes Larasati Widyaputri, Founder and CEO of an Indonesian start-up, Ecodoe. As a start-up, Ecodoe and Larasati have faced many challenges, including a hard-hitting global pandemic.
Weathering the Storm: COVID-19 lessons from social entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia
No matter where you are in the world, if you work somewhere in the entrepreneurial ecosystem – entrepreneur, investor, support organization – your life has unavoidably changed in recent months.
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
USAID RISE Platform: Supporting Gender Lens Investing in Southeast Asia
Women entrepreneurs have stirred the impact investment space in Southeast Asia with brilliant projects. Whether freshly graduated from a local accelerator programme or fundraising for capital to scale their businesses, these women lead by example. Through the USAID funded, Swisscontact managed RISE Platform, we support gender lens investing (GLI)...