Social Enterprises and Impact Investors for Inclusive Growth

ADB recognizes the important contributions that social enterprises can make to inclusive economic and social development. Social enterprises in Asia and the Pacific connect with impact investors through country and regional workshops where the ecosystem for impact investing in the region can be analyzed.


Social enterprises are self-sustaining businesses that address social or environmental concerns, providing jobs, goods and services to the poor and disadvantaged. Promising social enterprises may fail to grow because of the need for more capital.

At the same time, there are impact investors who want to fund businesses for financial returns and social impact.

ADB is contributing to the knowledge base needed to create a platform where social enterprises can raise capital. One promising option is a social stock exchange. A social stock exchange can be tested and launched but will need an appropriate financial structure and regulatory framework, capacity-building support and networking activities. ADB can assist this endeavor through research, networking and knowledge-sharing activities.


Inclusive growth through the social enterprises' provision of livelihood opportunities, goods and services to the poor and disadvantaged.


  • Enhanced awareness and development of social enterprises and impact investing
  • A platform for social enterprises to raise capital
  • Opportunities for impact investors to finance positive social change


  • Report on social enterprises' market size and readiness in at least three DMCs
  • Profile of impact investors
  • Assessment of market intermediaries and facilitators in a social stock exchange or similar platform
  • Fora and awareness-raising activities

Microfinance initiatives are a form of social enterprise. Learn more about ADB's work on microfinance.