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Asia Foundation Launches “Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneurship Program” in Shanghai

Beijing, March 17, 2019 — Today marks the launch of the inaugural class of The Asia Foundation’s “Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneurship: Supporting Migrant Women-Owned Businesses” program in Shanghai, China. This program is part of Moody’s Reshape Tomorrow™ initiative, an innovative global program to help owners of small and growing businesses and made possible by a grant from Moody’s Foundation. In partnership with Shanghai Haiyun Female Entrepreneurship Guidance and Service Center (Haiyun), the program will support 150 migrant women in Shanghai to grow their businesses through training, customized coaching, and networking.

Inaugural class of entrepreneurs

Xin Minjie, deputy director of Haiyun, hosted the opening ceremony to honor the program’s inaugural class of 38 women entrepreneurs. Yin Jianmin, deputy chair of Shanghai Putuo District Women’s Federation; Ma Li, managing director, Moody’s Investors Service; Yang Zhen, director of Haiyun; and Lv Pu, program and communications coordinator of The Asia Foundation’s Beijing Office, all participated in the ceremony.

The program empowers a total of five classes of entrepreneurs, providing comprehensive training on essential business and management skills, including financing and access to credit. The training includes gender-focused sessions on overcoming obstacles specifically faced by women in business, the significance of female leadership, and the importance of peer support to overcome these challenges. In addition, Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneurship will provide individualized business coaching, advisory sessions, and thematic salons to support graduates in tackling specific operational issues faced in growing their businesses. The training and mentor team is composed of experienced local experts in Shanghai, and strengthened by experts from Moody’s.

Trainer Xu Benliang speaks with participants

The 38 migrant women enrolled in the inaugural class are from 16 different provinces and municipalities across China but have all lived and worked in Shanghai for about a decade. Roughly 70% of participants started their businesses within the past five years. The majority of these businesses are in the service and retail sectors, and more than 70% of participants have never received any entrepreneurship training or coaching.

This project supports The Asia Foundation’s decades-long commitment to advancing the economic welfare of migrant workers in China and builds on the Foundation’s “Empowering Migrant Women as Entrepreneurs in China” initiative which began in 2013. That initiative, supported by GSRD Foundation, GE Foundation, and The Asia Foundation’s Lotus Circle, provided basic entrepreneurship skills trainings and follow-on support to 556 migrant women in Shanghai and Kunshan from 2013 to early 2018.

Shanghai Haiyun Female Entrepreneurship Guidance and Service Center is a Shanghai-based nonprofit organization specializing in entrepreneurship and career development support for women.

Moody’s is an essential component of the global capital markets, providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets. Moody’s Corporation (NYSE: MCO) is the parent company of Moody’s Investors Service, which provides credit ratings and research covering debt instruments and securities, and Moody’s Analytics, which offers leading-edge software, advisory services and research for credit and economic analysis and financial risk management. The Corporation, which reported revenue of $4.4 billion in 2018, employs approximately 13,100 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 42 countries. Further information is available at

Moody’s believes in a world where more people have access to opportunity, and where everyone has what they need to grow and thrive. We are committed to opening the door to a better future through our global corporate social responsibility programs empowering people around the world with the knowledge, resources and confidence they need to succeed. For more information visit

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 work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

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Related locations: China
Related programs: Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality
Related topics: The Future of Work, Women Entrepreneurs

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Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
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