Matt Gamser

Matthew Gamser is the outgoing CEO of the SME Finance Forum. He has over 35 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development. He has worked for IFC for 10 years in various positions, including heading the advisory services for the financial sector in East Asia-Pacific (from Hong Kong). Prior to IFC he worked for 25 years in the private sector in management consulting and technology/small scale industry development. He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.

Qamar Saleem

QAMAR SALEEM is the incoming CEO of the SME Finance Forum, working to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses globally. Prior to this role, Qamar Saleem was the Manager Financial Institutions Group Advisory Services for Asia and Pacific driving leading a large team across 20 countries aimed at providing integrated investment/advisory client solutions across mainly MSME, Gender, Climate, Digital, Housing, Trade, and Supply Chain Finance. Qamar has been with IFC since 2012 and served in his previous roles as global technical lead for SME and Supply Chain Finance as well as regional SME Banking lead for EMENA. Qamar has 30+ years of global financial services experience having worked across 60+ countries internationally managing large business lines while leading multi-cultural and cross-functional teams. He is a recognized thought leader, featured speaker, and an industry mentor in SME Finance. Prior to joining IFC, Qamar was associated with international organizations like HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank as well as large regional banks while serving in several emerging markets where he also led SME Banking and Commercial Banking Divisions. Qamar holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and carries several certifications in the areas of Strategy, Climate Finance, Digital Banking, Business Transformation, Social Impact, MSME Banking, Team Leadership, Supply Chain Finance, Credit, Risk, Trade, Sales Effectiveness, Transaction Banking and Project Implementation.


Aug 15, 2023

For some time, the SME Finance Forum has demonstrated how state-of-the-art SME financing must go beyond credit and use digital technology to enhance customer experience.  It’s becoming evident that today’s SMEs expect even more—they expect that their access to finance, markets and management support/skills building can all come in one space, in a single environment.  

Whether we call this an ecosystem, as is more common in the West, or a metaverse, which seems increasingly common in the East, it’s where SME financing is headed.  Both industry and governments realize they must offer these spaces to unlock the potential of their SMEs to support economic growth, job creation and improved provision of essential goods and services.   

At the same time, special attention must be given so that new digital ecosystems don’t perpetuate existing inequities broadening gaps in SME access to finance due to gender, ethnicity, location, etc. More consideration is needed on how the Internet of Things and digital ecosystems can help SMEs tackle sustainability issues, as SMEs collectively account for significant emissions and other ESG risks globally.    

The Global SME Finance Forum 12-14 September in Mumbai will explore the many dimensions of digital ecosystems. The meeting will bring the leading global builders together in one place to compare experiences and discuss best practices and next steps.
This year, over 500 senior bankers, tech leaders, policymakers and more, from over 70 countries, are expected to attend. Speakers already confirmed include Nandan Nilekani, cofounder of Infosys and creator of the Aadhar digital ID, Sandy Kemper, founder and Chairman of C2FO (the world’s largest SME working capital provider) and Chairs/CEOs/MDs from State Bank of India, Small Industries Development Bank of India, Union Bank of the Philippines, Ukrgasbank, Accion International, Standard Chartered, Mastercard, Visa, ICICI and more. 

The meeting will include inspiring keynote speakers, panels, debates, technology demonstrations, exhibits, the presenting of the Global SME Finance Awards and study visits to local innovators. 

Registration for the event and further information is available here. Early bird discounts are available until 25August.    

Don’t miss this unparalleled opportunity to learn from peers, link to new business opportunities and lead in high-level policy discussions. This will also be the perfect opportunity to meet Qamar Saleem, appointed to take over from Matt Gamser to lead the SME Finance Forum, as Matt Gamser retires.



Non Financial ServicesSustainable FinanceDigital Financial ServicesFintech