This Subgroup focuses on identifying, scaling up, and improving the policy environment for successful models of SME financing, funding the winners of the SME Finance Challenge and launching an SME Finance Forum, a platform for knowledge sharing and dissemination of best practices. The Subgroup devotes special attention to three focal areas: improving SME access to finance in the poorest countries, improving access to finance for agricultural SMEs, and promoting access to finance for women entrepreneurs.
Improving SME access to finance in the poorest countries: The recent economic crisis has underlined the need for collective action to address the challenges facing entrepreneurs in obtaining access to finance to grow. Particular attention to the poorest countries by the G20 is required to accelerate progress toward reaching G20 development objectives and expanded cooperation between G20 countries and the poorest countries. The working team will: (1) initiate broader consultation on the recommendations for enabling SME finance contained in the global public sector stocktaking report; (2) achieve a consensus among the poorest countries to commit to overcome the policy challenges that impede access to finance by SMEs; and (3) deepen the outreach to the private sector and Development and International Financial Institutions (DFIs/IFIs) active in the poorest countries to improve participation in SME finance initiatives.
Improving access to finance for agricultural SMEs: It is estimated that agricultural production worldwide needs to be doubled by 2050 in order to meet the food needs of a growing population. However, access to financial services is scarce among agricultural entrepreneurs in developing countries. Lack of financial access prevents such entrepreneurs from contributing to economic growth, job creation and food security. The objective of this focus area is to identify appropriate approaches to reduce the main risks and costs which inhibit access to financial services in rural areas, especially for MSMEs in the agricultural sector in developing countries. The outputs focus on three tracks: (1) research and analysis on best practice models in agricultural SME finance, (2) development of guidelines on policy and regulatory frameworks conducive to agricultural finance, and (3) promotion of sustainable and responsible agricultural value chains
Promoting access to finance for women entrepreneurs: In many countries, half or more micro businesses are owned by women. But research shows that a disproportionate share of these businesses fail to grow and evidence so far suggests that access to finance is one major constraint for growth. Other barriers include constraints on mobility, competing household responsibilities, risk aversion, lack of training, exclusion from entrepreneurial networks, and social restrictions. The outputs for this focus area proceed along three tracks: (1) research and data, (2) development of policy recommendations, and (3) identification of SME finance models particularly suited to women's businesses.