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MSME Finance Data Competition 2019

19 November 2019
IFC Main Office
MSME Finance Data Competition 2019

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is organizing its first MSME Finance Data Competition to provide graduate students an opportunity to work collaboratively in  learning about  micro, small, and medium  enterprises (MSMEs) and exploring  some of the challenges MSMEs encounter in today’s world.

What are MSMEs? Why are they important?
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for the major share of the private sector and employment in emerging markets. Despite their size and importance, microenterprises have limited access to savings, credit, and payment services provided by formal financial institutions and similarly access to financial services for small and medium enterprises remains severely constrained in emerging markets. IFC’s MSME finance gap analysis estimates an unmet financing need of $5.2 trillion, including $1.5 trillion attributable to women-owned MSMEs. 

Over the years,  IFC has been contributing towards increased financial access to MSMEs, by providing both funding for equity, loans, and mezzanine finance and providing capacity building support to financial intermediaries, including microfinance institutions (MFIs), commercial banks, and leasing companies.

This competition is organized by IFC, hosted by Financial Institutions Group & Sector Economics and Development Impact Department CSE. With the collaboration of SME Finance Forum and IFC KNovember Month. 

Competition Format
The Competition will have three challenges – two take-home challenges and a live challenge at the IFC HQ. All the challenges are to be completed in teams. For the take-home challenges, each team will have one week to make their submission and the live challenge will need to be completed in 1.5 hours. Download Flyer

This competition is open to enrolled graduate students in the DC area.

The winning teams in each of the challenges will receive awards. In addition, they will get an opportunity to take part in exclusive networking sessions with IFC senior staff. All participants will receive acknowledgement certificates. 

Process & Deadlines
The Competition will have two take-home challenges of one week, and a live challenge at the IFC HQ to be completed in 1.5 hours. 

Application Period             18 October – 3 November
Selection of Participants    6 November 2019

Take-Home Challenge       7 – 14 November 2019
Live Challenge at IFC        19 November 2019



IFC’s MSME Finance Data Competition 2019 has officially begun!


The time has come for the teams to put on the data hats. Download the documents below and read the challenge prompts carefully:

Challenge I (Data Visualization)

Challenge II (Research Proposal) 

Reference papers

SUBMISSION DEADLINE – Thursday, 14th November 2019 11:59 PM EST


Live challenge

Live Challenge will take place on 19th November at IFC Headquarters. 

Agenda to be posted soon.


Any questions? Contact us at  msmefinancecompetition2019@ifc.org