Track 2

Accelerating MSME access to financial services through new technologies and skills development program

Access to financial services is important for any business, and even more so during crises as the recent COVID-19 pandemic has evidenced. Digital services and innovative finance mechanisms hold the promise of enhanced financial inclusion, especially for women, youth, migrants, and other underserved groups.

However, support mechanisms that rely on financing and digital financial services alone could have the unintended consequence of systemically excluding those without reliable access to technology and know-how. MSMEs also need access to non-financial services (NFS) such as information, skills, mentoring, networks, markets and business management technology to grow sustainably.

Call for solutions

We are looking for solutions combining the elements of financial and non-financial services with a particular focus on digital services and skills.

The solutions we are looking for

Examples might include:

  • A well-integrated skills building program that could enable an SME support program to cover critical areas like managerial skills and financial literacy, and include financial services delivery in order to expose MSMEs to the full and changing financing landscape.
  • A discussion of challenges and best practices regarding effective combinations of financial and non-financial (or business development support) services, reflecting on the role of new technologies and tools in this domain, and local skills and training-support programs in emerging markets.
  • Further insights into the extent to which an integration of non-financial services into SME support mechanisms can result in enhanced bankability of SMEs, providing a positive impact for the wider economy and financing sector.

Whom is this for?

This track is aimed at practitioners representing

  • Public SME/Entrepreneurship agencies (e.g. MSME agencies, entrepreneurship centres).
  • Development partners (Governments, foundations, corporations).
  • Financial and non-financial service providers (banks, networks, ESOs, investors).
  • Entrepreneurship supporters, champions and catalysts.