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Regional Investment Support for Entrepreneurs (RISE)

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.

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 2019 to expand strategic partnerships with pro and low-bono providers of business development support services. We currently partner with Swisscontact’s Senior Expert Corps (SEC) program and are in advanced discussions with several 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 Team Leader Kevin Robbins.


RISE began its first TA delivery in May to Natural Agricultural Village (NAV) in Cambodia through a local consultancy, Fii Associates. The 2019 TA pipeline includes other high-potential SMEs such as Amru Rice, Khmer Water Supply Holdings, and NatureWild in Cambodia, Ecodoe in Indonesia, and HiGi and Kennemer in the Philippines.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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