ASA Philippines Foundation was conceptualized by Mr. Kamrul H. Tarafder. Mr. Tarafder started work in the microfinance industry with ASA Bangladesh. In 1998, he began working jointly with ASA Bangladesh and the United Nations Development Program teaching the ASA methodology to more than 20 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Philippines over a span of 5 years.
In August 2003, Mr. Tarafder met with Ambassador Howard Q. Dee (former Ambassador of the Philippines to the Holy See and Malta) to discuss the social and economic benefits received by the poor from microfinance operations. Soon after, in 2004, with donations from the Assisi Development Foundation and the Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation, ASA Philippines Foundation was born. In November 2007, PLDT Smart Foundation joined as a third benefactor. Since then, ASA Philippines has not obtained any grant and, unlike other foundations, it pledges not to source any more. With its excellent performance in the field, ASA Philippines has become one of the best performing MFIs in the country.