Businesses in Asia Unlock Growth and Potential Through Gender Smart Investing


[Press release]

Bangkok, Thailand – Private sector industry leaders from around Asia came together for the Asia Gender-Smart Investing Forum, presented by Gobi Partners and co-organized with UN Women's WeEmpowerAsia programme funded by the European Union. 

Gender-smart investing seeks to intentionally and measurably use investment decisions to address gender disparities. The 2-day forum provided leaders with guidance and good practices to advance women's economic empowerment and women in leadership roles in Asia through gender-smart investing. Participants discussed strategies to unlock the potential in human capital and translate it into opportunities for increased economic growth and innovation.

The untapped potential for businesses investing in women entrepreneurs and leaders can be, “a rising tide that lifts all boats. The women founders and women in C-level management positions, backed by Gobi Partners, constantly pay it forward by uplifting underserved communities and creating much needed jobs across the ‘she-conomy’ and Asia as a whole,” says Thomas Tsao, a founding partner of Gobi Partners.

UN Women also sees investing strategies translating into benefits for all. As Sarah Knibbs, Deputy Regional Director of the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, observed “benefits to women translate into benefits for their communities. By providing opportunities for women through gender-smart investing, business leaders can improve the lives of entire communities and create transformative change.”

The forum highlighted the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. WeEmpowerAsia presented a snapshot of the WE Rise toolkits (for entrepreneursaccelerators) that were developed in the framework of the WEPs to provide actionable steps for women entrepreneurs to grow their business and access financing, and for business accelerators to become gender-smart and unlock the power of gender inclusivity for the women-led enterprises they support.

The forum concluded Wednesday, 3 November 2021.

Social Media: Follow the hashtags #WeEmpowerAsia and #GenderSmartInvesting on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram channels @unwomenasia and @GobiPartners; more information is available on the Facebook event page and the recorded livestreams are available on YouTube (Day 1; Day 2).

For more information, contact:

JJ Erpaiboon
Investor Relations Manager and Diversity and Environment Lead,
Gobi Partners
Email: [ Click to reveal ]

Minji Kwag
International Communications Consultant, WeEmpowerAsia,
UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Email: [ Click to reveal ]

About WeEmpowerAsia

WeEmpowerAsia is a UN Women programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union that seeks to increase the number of women who lead and participate in business in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. For more information, visit

About UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, the organization was established in 2010 to accelerate progress on women’s rights worldwide. UN Women’s efforts are based on the fundamental belief that every woman has the right to live a life free from violence, poverty and discrimination, and that gender equality is a prerequisite to achieving global development. To learn more, visit

About the European Union

The European Union is made up of 27 Member States that have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a 50-year period of enlargement, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development while maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. To learn more, visit

About Gobi Partners

Gobi Partners is the most interconnected Pan-Asian venture capital firm with US$1.2 billion in assets under management across North Asia, South Asia and South-East Asia. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai, the firm supports entrepreneurs from the early to growth stages and focuses on emerging and underserved markets. To learn more, visit