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G-20 Financial Inclusion Initiative: SME Finance Challenge

At the Pittsburgh Summit, the G-20 created the Financial Inclusion Experts Group (FIEG) to expand access to financial services, including credit, to the poor. In Pittsburgh, Leaders also called for the launch of a global small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) Finance Challenge, a unique financial inclusion effort aimed at helping small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs grow their businesses. The aim of the Challenge is to find the best models worldwide for public-private partnerships that catalyze finance for SMEs and to give the creators of those models a chance to solicit financing.

SMEs play a major role in economic development and are often the single largest source of job creation, particularly in emerging economies. Lack of access to finance, however, is a major obstacle to these firms’ growth. Only an estimated 20 percent of small firms in low-income countries have access to credit. SMEs are often too small to attract commercial bank or investor interest, but too large to benefit from microfinance products. To date, few scalable solutions to support this “missing middle” tier of businesses have been found.

UPDATED: Private financial institutions, private investors and companies, socially responsible investors, foundations, and civil society organizations can now submit solutions through September 5th.

Fact Sheet

Under Secretary Lael Brainard on the White House Blog: SME Finance Challenge: G-20 Prize Seeks Scalable Solutions for Small Businesses

Last Updated: 12/1/2010 11:19 AM

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