Helen Wong Advocates for Women Entrepreneurs at ASEAN Business & Investment Summit in Jakarta


Helen Wong, Managing Partner at Indonesia's leading early-stage venture capital firm, AC Ventures (ACV), delivered a compelling address at the Women's CEO Forum during the ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (ABIS) 2023, held at the Ritz Carlton in downtown Jakarta. Her speech focused on the critical role women entrepreneurs play in Indonesia's economy and the untapped investment potential they represent.

Under Indonesia's leadership as the ASEAN chair, the region aims to become a stable, peaceful, and law-abiding community, while also fostering economic growth and inclusivity. Indonesia, as the largest market within ASEAN, contributes approximately 40% to the bloc's economy. Helen Wong, in her address, emphasized the importance of supporting women entrepreneurs in the nation, a move that not only makes economic sense but also aligns with Indonesia's vision for an inclusive and sustainable economic powerhouse.

Indonesia is home to over 64 million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), which constitute 98% of all businesses in the country. These enterprises are vital contributors to the local economy, accounting for over 61% of its GDP. Notably, more than half of these businesses are women-owned, representing an annual investment opportunity valued at over US$421 billion, according to AC Ventures' research.

"In a dynamic market like Indonesia's, women entrepreneurs are not merely contributing socially; they are essential economic drivers. Our research demonstrates that investing in women-led businesses isn't just a moral obligation; it's a strategic move," remarked Helen Wong. "Given their significant contributions to the local economy and their resilience during crises like the pandemic, we're looking at an untapped annual opportunity worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Hence, we need more female investors who comprehend this and are ready to actively support female founders."

AC Ventures has a notable history of championing female tech founders and women-owned MSMEs across the ASEAN region. The firm prides itself on a gender-balanced team with a 50:50 gender ratio and boasts 41% female leadership across its investment portfolio. These statistics underscore AC Ventures' commitment to fostering a fair and inclusive business environment.

Helen Wong underscored this commitment during her address, stating, "In our experience at AC Ventures, diversity isn't just a buzzword; it's a fundamental business requirement. A diverse team brings a range of perspectives, resulting in more informed investment decisions and stronger portfolio performance."

At the Women's CEO Forum, Helen Wong called upon fellow investors and policymakers to take concrete actions in supporting female entrepreneurs. AC Ventures aims to set an example for inclusivity and diversity and hopes to inspire the wider investment community to recognize the immense potential within women-led enterprises.

By aligning its investment strategy with the considerable potential of women-led businesses, AC Ventures seeks to not only drive economic growth but also nurture a more equitable and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Indonesia and the broader ASEAN region.

To learn more about ACV's commitment to environmental and societal impact, visit: https://acv.vc/about/our-impact/

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