“Financing Business Growth for Women Entrepreneurs” Workshop series

The ILO’s Rebuilding Better Project and the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) invites women entrepreneurs in Malaysia to join a workshop series on external financing options for business growth.


Women entrepreneurs are less likely to use external financial services to fund their businesses, which often results in women-owned businesses being smaller in size or growing more slowly than male-owned businesses. Findings from an ILO Rebuilding Better Project study from 2021 found that several women entrepreneurs lacked awareness of suitable financial services and products and that they therefore relied on their own funds. In addition, women entrepreneurs operated businesses with limited capital and felt they did not know enough about how to apply to access external financial services, lacked the confidence to do so or chose to avoid applying for external financial support to minimize risk.

To help overcome these challenges, the ILO’s and MEDAC’s ‘Financing Business Growth for Women Entrepreneurs’ series will improve women entrepreneurs’ knowledge on financial services that are available to them and guide them to identify options which are suitable to their business depending on growth stage and business objectives. The series will expose women entrepreneurs to various financial services and products available in Malaysia through conventional as well as more innovative financial institutions. The online sessions are aimed to empower women entrepreneurs to develop plans to finance the growth of their businesses over time by leveraging external financing options.

Format and programme

The five workshops will take place online via Zoom, on a monthly basis with topics focusing on different external financing options. Financial institutions, government agencies and other relevant organizations will participate in all sessions, share relevant information with women entrepreneurs and answer their questions.

Workshop 1: Considering Your Financial Journey
The Considering Your Financing Journey session will focus on introducing various financing options available for women entrepreneurs. As part of the session, women entrepreneurs will also learn more about important factors to consider when determining financing alternatives for their business and how to prepare for accessing external finance. The session will benefit from successful local women entrepreneurs sharing their experiences with fundraising and leveraging external funding and provide insights on selecting the most suitable option for their business. The session will include an interactive breakout group discussion to provide participants the opportunity to share thoughts, concerns and reflect on options suitable for their business.

Workshop 2: Financing Your Business with a Bank Loan
In the Financing Your Business with a Bank Loan session, representatives from banks in Malaysia will share more information about their financial services and credit options with women entrepreneurs as well as guide participants on the preparation process to apply. Participants will be able to join breakout room discussions with relationship managers and loan officers, who will be available to answer questions by participants who seek clarifications and further information related to available funding options.

Workshop 3: Attracting the Crowds: Financing with ECF
To provide women entrepreneurs with an alternate method of funding, the fourth session, Attracting the Crowds: Financing with ECF will benefit from equity crowdfunding organization being present to present the option of leveraging equity crowd funding to finance your business growth. In the session, participants will also learn how to prepare relevant documents and create a business profile on the platform.

Workshop 4: Equity Financing with Angel Investors
For small businesses, learning about seed funding can be a complicated process, which is why the Equity Financing with Angel Investors session will provide insights on the pros and cons of equity financing through angel investors. Participants will have the opportunity to ask any pressing questions to invited speakers in a semi-interactive panel session on how to make their businesses ready for raising capital.

Workshop 5: Taking Action: Developing a Financial Plan
The last session, Taking Action: Developing a Financial Plan, will enable participants to reflect on information absorbed in previous sessions and to create an action plan outlining next steps to take in order to access financial services that they find suitable for their business. A summary of the available financial support will be presented before participants enter breakout rooms to evaluate their options and prepare an action plan on how they can leverage external financial services to grow their business in the future.


Workshop 1 - Considering Your Financial Journey,
Date: 17 March, 10.00 am - 11.30 am: Registration here.

Workshop 2 - Financing Your Business with a Bank Loan,
Date: 19 May, 2.00 – 4.00 pm: Registration here

Workshop 3 - Attracting the Crowds: Financing with ECF, 
Date: 23 June, 2.00 – 4.00 pm: Registration here

Workshop 4 - Equity Financing with Angel Investors,
Date: 21 July, 2.00 – 5.00 pm: Registration here

Workshop 5 - Taking Action: Developing a Financial Plan,
Date: 25 August, 9.00 am – 1.00 pm: Registration here

For more information about the workshop series, contact ikmal@ilo.org.