Organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC)
, a member of the World Bank Group, and the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the Global SME Finance Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.
Launched in 2018 and now in its third year, the Global SME Finance Awards were set up to recognize the commitments and distinguished achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering outstanding products and services to their SME clients and helping them grow. Despite the impact of COVID-19 on economies worldwide, this year’s pool of entries was strong and highlighted the creativity and responsiveness that financial institutions and FinTechs illustrate when serving SMEs.
Paulo de Bolle, Senior Director, Global Industry, Financial Markets, Global Financial Institutions Group at the International Finance Corporation said: “The Global SME Finance Awards recognize and reward innovation in small business lending that can improve financing for SMEs, helping small businesses grow and create jobs. Innovations in lending technology and business models, can significantly reduce the cost of serving SMEs.”
Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum said: “We hope the winners of the Global SME Finance Awards will inspire SME financiers all over the world to learn from their good practices. The Awards provide the winners an opportunity to showcase good practices on the global stage and to foster learning amongst their peers.”
The Global SME Finance Awards recognize institutions that have successfully launched an innovative product or service for SME clients, that have achieved impressive results in expanding finance to SMEs, that have shown specific prowess in serving women-owned SMEs, and are innovators in responsible financial services. The Best Bank for Women Entrepreneurs category is organized each year in partnership with the IFC Banking on Women Initiative and is sponsored this year by We-Fi, the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. This year, we would also like to acknowledge additional support by U GRO Capital, an Indian technology-focused, small business lending platform.
Linnea Kreibohm, Senior Policy Officer at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and Co-Chair of the SME Finance Subgroup of G20 GPFI. said: “The Global SME Finance Awards put the spotlight on two key issues - responsible innovation and responsible financing, which are an integral part of the financial inclusion agenda. As demonstrated by this year’s and last year’s Awards winners, product innovations can lower costs and allow SME financiers to better serve previously underserved and unserved SMEs, particularly women-owned SMEs. The awards are particularly important in our current economic situation, with many SMEs struggling with the economic impact of COVID-19”
About the SME Finance Forum
The SME Finance Forum works to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses. The Forum operates a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs. Established in 2012 by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the SME Finance Forum is managed by IFC.