Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs

Swisscontact manages the USAID funded Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs (RISE) platform which provides technical assistance (TA) to companies with high potential for impact in Southeast Asia. RISE aims to create impact for the base of the pyramid by providing accessible TA to businesses with high potential for positive social and environmental impact and by mitigating risk for investors. RISE currently operates in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam and plans to expand in the future. RISE priority sectors include agriculture, digital platforms and solutions, energy, health, and water and sanitation. 
Phnom pen, cambodia
manila, philipines
hanoi, vietnam
Denpasar, Indonesia
Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia
Project duration
2017 - 2021
Financed by

The project

RISE provides investment readiness and post-investment TA to small and growing businesses (SGBs) with high potential for social impact through a pool of vetted consultants. The investment readiness TA is designed to support SGBs as they work to become investment ready and assist investors in building investible pipeline. The post-investment TA provides business support to SGBs that already successfully raised capital. This support is meant to help mitigate risks for investors and support more resilient growth for high impact SGBs. It is also meant to help SGBs move from one round of funding to the next more successfully. RISE can facilitate full-cost, general, and specialized consultancies as well as pro bono corporate volunteers.

Unique features of RISE include:

  • Innovation. RISE is one of few programs that takes a multi-country, multi-investor, multi-sector, multi-donor approach, allowing it to work with many kinds of impactful enterprises.
  • Early growth and 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 TA to SGBs.
  • 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.
  • Catalytic grant capital with multiplier effect. The RISE platform operates through a repayable grant model. Through RISE, donor grant funding is catalytic, establishing a platform that generates revenue as SGBs pay back the cost of the TA they receive. This recycling of grant capital creates a multiplier effect for donors.
  • 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 SGBs 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 currently has 20 partners, including Alterfin, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, BIDUK, Chamroeun Microfinance, Damson Capital, Global Urban village, Insitor Partners, Instellar, Kinara, Mana Impact, Manila Angel Investors Network, Moonshot Ventures, Nexus for Development, Obor Capital, Private Financing Advisory Network, Phitrust Asia, SHE Investment, Teja Ventures, Uberis Capital, Women’s initiative for Startups and Entrepreneurship.

RISE is also working with pro and low bono partners to provide additional TA options to SGBs. We currently partner with Credit Suisse’s Virtual Volunteers, CrossFields, Swisscontact’s Senior Expert Contact (SEC) program, Rippleworks, and EY. RISE aims to link social impact companies in the region with various sources of affordable expertise.

To discuss potential collaboration with RISE, please contact, rise.platform (at)


  • 25 TA assignments launched to 17 SGBs
  • More than USD 320,000 worth of TA deployed
  • Nearly 8,000 hours of TA facilitated
  • Roughly USD 3M capital raised by clients post-TA


Entrepreneurial ecosystems
USAID RISE Case Study: The Accelerator, Technical Assistance and Gender lens Investing Nexus
This case study outlines one example of how two different types of Entrepreneurship Support Organisations (ESOs) can work together to help women-owned/led small and medium enterprises become investment ready by bringing technical assistance to graduates of accelerator programmes.
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
USAID RISE Case Study: Through its partnership with Credit Suisse, RISE facilitates pro bono technical assistance to Azaylla, a scaling agribusiness in Cambodia
“Agriculture in developing countries like Cambodia brings its own unique set of risks and challenges. If you have a clear goal, vision, deep passion and ability to work hard then obstacles give way to success”, emphasizes Parth Borkotoky, Founder and CEO of Azaylla. As a start-up, Azaylla and Parth have faced one of the most common challenges of fast growing businesses - the lack of access to financing capital needed to scale their businesses.
Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact on strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia 
Khmer Enterprise and Swisscontact signed a Partnership Agreement to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Cambodia. This collaboration seeks to pilot several tools in the Phnom Penh Ecosystem to promote collaboration between entrepreneurial support organizations (ESO) and foster peer exchange and mentorship. This collaboration is jointly funded by Khmer Enterprise and Credit Suisse through Credit Suisse-Swisscontact (CSSC) initiative.