Australia and The Asia Foundation Support Mongolian Women Entrepreneurs During Covid-19

Ulaanbaatar, May 19, 2021 — Today, The Asia Foundation and Australian Government initiated a new program to support Mongolia’s women entrepreneurs and address the economic and social challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Australia’s Partnership for Recovery funding to the Foundation will target women entrepreneurs and other beneficiaries in Ulaanbaatar, Orkhon, Darkhan-Uul, and Uvurkhangai Provinces.

Asia Foundation Country Representative to Mongolia Mark Koenig was joined by Australian Chargé d’Affaires to Mongolia Neil Sanderson to sign the grant agreement. The two sides exchanged the signed grant agreement and met with representatives from the National Centre Against Violence, the Women Entrepreneur Mentors Club, and Beautiful Hearts NGO, who will deliver important services under the project to conduct the following activities:

  • Training and awareness raising to improve responses to rising levels of domestic violence
  • Financial support to help women entrepreneurs shift their business strategies to reflect changing market realities
  • Advisory support for current and aspiring women entrepreneurs
  • Psychosocial support for women suffering from anxiety, depression, stress, or other mental health challenges exacerbated or caused by the consequences of the pandemic.

“Covid-19 is obviously having profound health, but also social and economic impacts across our region. It is increasingly clear that the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on women and girls. The risk is high that Covid-19 will roll back gains on gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, leadership, safety, and resilience. As a strong partner of Mongolia in furthering gender equality, the Australian Government is committed to ensuring that we do not lose these gains”, said Neil Sanderson. “To this end, we are pleased to partner with The Asia Foundation in Mongolia to support women entrepreneurs and direct recovery efforts focused on delivering positive impacts for women and girls.”

Mark Koenig remarked, “We would like to thank Australia for this timely and well-targeted initiative. Mongolia’s women entrepreneurs have faced enormous challenges this year, and there is much work to be done to help businesses recover and evolve to meet the new challenges of a world changed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also support them to thrive despite the great challenges and traumas that so many have faced. This program recognizes that recovery will require us to consider both the personal and professional impact of the pandemic.”         

The Asia Foundation is a non-profit 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 international cooperation.

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Related locations: Mongolia
Related programs: Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality
Related topics: Covid-19

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