Dutch development bank FMO has proposed to offer a Euro 0.4-million grant ($438,075) to One to Watch (OTW), an impact investment management company based in the Netherlands with subsidiaries in Nepal and Myanmar, according to its disclosure.
This investment was done through the bank’s MASSIF fund, which provides access to financial services such as bank accounts, savings products and loan products for micro-, small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
According to the Dutch lender, the grant to One To Watch is to support two accelerator programmes for local entrepreneurs/small and medium enterprises in Myanmar and Nepal to support capacity building and make them investment-ready.
“Small and medium enterprises form the backbone of an inclusive economy. Supporting OTW with its accelerators improves access to finance for local entrepreneurs and generate inclusive economic growth, generating direct and indirect jobs and reducing inequalities,” FMO said in the disclosure.
Established in 2012, OTW invests in entrepreneurs who take on a leadership position in their societies. In 2019, OTW established its Myanmar-focused vehicle.
In 2018, OTW launched the Nepal Impact Investment Community 2 (NIIC 2) to aid the Missing Middle of Nepal’s economy. The Euro 20-million venture capital fund is focused on investing in SMEs in Nepal working in the basic needs industries— agriculture, infrastructure and healthcare.
In Myanmar last year, the Dutch development bank proposed a $13.5 million investment to help develop Mandalay City, the country’s second-largest city.
In Nepal, the bank had earlier proposed to invest $35 million debt financing for the development of Upper Trisuli 1, a 216 MW greenfield hydropower project in Nepal, developed by IFC-backed Nepal Water and Energy Development company.