UNEP announced as new partner of Pioneer Facility

UNEP announced as new partner of Pioneer Facility

UNEP supports Pioneer Facility to drive funding for women-led climate projects in Asia

Climate-friendly and women-led enterprises in Asia will benefit from USD 7 million private financing through the Pioneer Facility, a flexible debt financing fund that supports multiple low-carbon projects and social enterprises across Asia. 

The UN has joined a number of other key partners of the fund to help increase reach to women’s led enterprises. Their partnership comes as part of the EmPower: Women for Climate-Resilient Societies Phase II (EmPower) programme, jointly implemented by UNEP and UN Women with the support of the Governments of Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland 

The Pioneer Facility will disburse the loans through to 2027 for climate-focused small and medium enterprises, 40 per cent of which are earmarked for enterprises that meet gender lens criteria. Beneficiaries can receive up to USD 500,000 in flexible debt financing, with no collateral. Enterprises that are women focused and benefit underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Pioneer Facility is managed by UNEP partner Nexus for Development, an international non-profit, with operations in Cambodia, expertise in climate funding and carbon finance and funder of multiple low-carbon projects across the region, including Vietnam, Indonesia and Laos.  

 “We have had the opportunity to work with the EmPower project since 2019, when we partnered on their feasibility study to assess the financial landscape of women’s led or women’s supported businesses in Cambodia, said Laura Alsenas, Executive Director of Nexus for Development.  

We’re incredibly proud to now be working with the team on this next phase, where we can drive funds to enterprises that are ready to scale their impact in the climate space across Asia and bring considerable environmental and social benefits for women and other marginalized groups in these communities.”  

The Pioneer Facility helps SMEs to scale climate positive low-carbon, clean water, clean energy, and waste management solutions and bring positive benefits to low-income communities, women, and marginalized groups.  

 “While large companies and institutions implementing renewable energy projects can access finance with relatively less difficulty, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, in particular those led by women, continue to face barriers. That is why the focus of EmPower through the Pioneer Facility is to ensure that affordable finance for clean energy is accessible to women and marginalized communities, contributing to a gender just energy transition, said Parimita Mohanty, Programme Management Officer, UNEP. 

EmPower aims to strengthen gender equality and human rights in climate change and disaster risk reduction in the Asia and Pacific region. By investing in the Pioneer Facility, EmPower, will increase its reach in priority markets, including Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam.  

Find out more about the fund and how to apply www.nexusfordevelopment.org/campaign