At the end of each year, especially after a year like no other, we want to take a step back to reflect and acknowledge the achievements of our team. While economic downturns and lockdowns derailed some of our plans, we are lucky to be working with entrepreneurs that embrace change and a team that thrives under challenging environments.
Despite tough times, our 12 portfolio companies were able to maintain over 440 employment opportunities and serve over 38,000 clients (read our annual impact booklet to learn more about our impact this year). While these numbers may not project significant growth, resilience was the definition of success for our companies this year.
In addition to supporting portfolio companies manage their risks, our investment management team carried four more companies into the full investment preparation process.
Becoming the go-to partner for impact-driven entrepreneurs requires us to extend our ecosystem support beyond our portfolio companies. Between Nepal and Myanmar, our acceleration and business development services (BDS) have supported over 140 companies, 21 of which received equity investments. To develop the overall entrepreneurial and investment ecosystem, we initiated and co-founded the Nepal Private Equity Association (NPEA) this year, and to address the gender financing gap, we launched the Women Entrepreneurs Ignite (WE Ignite) acceleration program in Myanmar and strive to use the learnings from the program to invest in more women-led businesses next year.
In an effort to keep resilient enterprises afloat and save jobs which are crucial to catalyze the economic recovery, we mobilized capital and launched our COVID-19 MSME Fund Nepal together with local banks and international development partners. To date, we have received over 1000 applications for collateral/interest free loans and have a target to disburse over 100 loans and support the creation of over 1000 direct jobs in the coming year.
Looking back, we are incredibly proud of what we have achieved this past year and have our team, donors, investors, mentors and ecosystem partners to thank for their unwavering support. In 2021, OTW will continue to have our investment, ecosystem development and BDS activities work in synergy to generate more impact and returns. The focus in early 2021 will remain around finalizing our first deal in Myanmar and providing risk management support to our pipeline and investee companies. We look forward to unlocking more impact capital to invest in small and medium enterprises and renewable energy projects that will create jobs and take on climate change. Here’s to another year of impact!