The Asia Foundation and KOICA to Open New Women’s Business Center and Incubator in Ulaanbaatar

Mongolia KOICA

Ulaanbaatar, February 18, 2016 — On the morning of February 18th, The Asia Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the office of the Mayor of Ulaanbaatar to establish Ulaanbaatar’s first Women’s Business Center and Incubator to empower female entrepreneurs. The Asia Foundation has assembled a public-private partnership to provide finance, business, and marketing training to the established and burgeoning female business owners of Ulaanbaatar. The center is slated to open in July 2016.

Women in Ulaanbaatar continue to face a range of cultural, financial, and legal barriers to their ability to start and grow businesses. In response, The Asia Foundation aims to foster women’s entrepreneurship, improve gender equality in the business sector, whilst also boosting economic growth and supporting the city’s SME sector. The center, when publicly launched this year, is expected to increase the number of women-owned businesses, and enable an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs to receive high-quality business support and development services.

The pilot project will last three years, and create a supportive environment for women entrepreneurs to start new businesses and grow existing small businesses. The business center will also offer training programs, business consultancy services, and networking opportunities. Additionally, the incubator will offer a select number of women specialized training and professional mentoring. These services will be provided through collaboration with a number of local partners.

KOICA provides financial support to the Ulaanbaatar Women’s Business Center through its Civil Society Organizations partnership program, which aims to assist various NGOs and private organizations for Mongolian economic and social development. KOICA has been assisting Mongolia since 1991 and has implemented more than 50 development projects.

The Asia Foundation has assembled a consortium of public-private partners to implement the project. The Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce (MNCCI) will provide training and mentorship for entrepreneurs, Golomt Bank will offer a customized financial package to aid female-owned businesses access and secure capital, and Development Solutions will partner with the City to operationalize and manage the operation of the business incubator.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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Related locations: Korea, Mongolia
Related programs: Empower Women