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Virtual Roundtable Series #27 - Government Support for Alternative Financiers in COVID Recovery

19 May 2021
8 : 00
9 : 30
Man in suit, holding a piggy bank with mask and coins in the background

By invitation only

To mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments around the world launched MSME support programs at an unprecedented scale. Alternative financiers have some of the best digital tools available to deliver government support to millions of MSMEs worldwide in an efficient and timely manner. This roundtable discussion will examine how alternative lenders have fared with government support programs for COVID-19 relief and recovery, specifically what we are learning about alternative lenders’ capabilities and the effectiveness of the programs themselves. Relevant findings from two global studies -- “2020 Global COVID-19 FinTech Regulatory Rapid Assessment Study” and “Global COVID-19 FinTech Market Rapid Assessment Study”  – will be presented.  

On Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, at 8 a.m. EST, we will hear from executives at member U GRO Capital; member Funding Societies | Modalku; the Innovative Lending Platform Association; and Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Cambridge Judge Business School, who will discuss government support for SMEs and the role of alternative financiers in COVID-19 recovery.
What you will learn about
What government support programs have happened, and the extent to which alternative financiers have been eligible to participate in those programs?
What strengths and weaknesses of alternative financiers have emerged from the COVID experience (compared to more traditional, regulated financial institutions) with respect to reaching SMEs?
How have alternative financiers dealt with risks of fraud and data security? How do they compare to more traditional institutions in this regard?
What are good practice lessons for governments in how to most effectively utilize alternative financiers in crisis response?
What lessons might there be from this whole experience that can be applied post-COVID in improving the ways governments promote better financial access for SMEs?
Host & Moderator: Matthew Gamser, CEO, SME Finance Forum
About the Speakers
Shachindra Nath is a distinguished corporate leader and the Executive Chairman & Managing Director of U GRO Capital. A university rank holder in Law from the prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU), his rise from the humble beginnings in the carpet industry where he witnessed the strife of small businesses to access credit to turning entrepreneur is noteworthy. In his career spanning three decades, Mr Nath has been influential in building two insurance companies, a large asset management company and an NBFC. Some of his biggest achievements include establishing new business verticals alongside foraying into successful joint ventures and partnerships for the group. He has now taken on the role of an entrepreneur by acquiring control of a listed NBFC in 2018 and subsequently rebranding it as U GRO Capital. The company simultaneously raised capital of INR 9500 million under his leadership which is believed to be one of the largest institutional capital raising feats for an NBFC. Mr Nath is known to be an influencer and a hands-on leader who trusts his instincts. At present, he is focused on the MSME credit gap in India. Unlike many other techpreneurs, he is not interested in developing a dotcom company and selling it in a few years. Instead, he wants U GRO Capital to be as technology-driven as any other fintech start-up but wants it to be a business that stands the test of time.
Kelvin Teo is the co-founder of Funding Societies | Modalku. He has been the Co-Chairperson for Singapore Fintech Association’s Marketplace Lending Committee since 2018 and named by the Association as among the Top 12 Fintech Leaders in Singapore in 2020. As one of the Top 200 FinTech Influencers in Asia, Kelvin has spoken at major conferences such as LendIt Shanghai, Boao Hainan and Money20/20. He has also been featured on Bloomberg, BBC and Business Times. Prior to this, Kelvin served as a consulting professional at KKR, McKinsey and Accenture. Kelvin graduated from Harvard Business School and National University of Singapore, and is a certified Chartered Accountant.
Scott Stewart is the CEO at Innovative Lending Platform Association. Over the past 20 years, Scott Stewart envisioned, designed, and operated a variety of teams to achieve public policy objectives. As a Yale graduate with an MBA from the University of Denver and as a successful organization builder, Scott understands everything from how to develop a public policy position in order to influence legislators and regulators; to how to successfully build coalitions and teams to carry out stakeholder engagement campaigns; to how to develop top notch events, communications and public affairs efforts for corporations and presidential campaigns. From his current position as Senior Director of FinTech Initiatives for the Financial Services Roundtable, Scott develops and implements collaborative programs with technology companies. He designed, developed and ran the first FinTech Ideas Festival that featured the world’s leaders at the confluence of finance, innovation and technology and was livestreamed by CNBC. The event featured 110 CEOs from the financial services and technology industries and trended #1 on Twitter. Before joining FSR, Scott made a difference in energy policy for political, corporate and government groups. He served in the Secretary’s office at the Department of the Interior in 2005 and 2006 and drove the administration’s energy message to external organizations. Scott designed the plans for communicating both fossil and renewable Secretarial decisions on energy policy to energy and environmental groups, policy leaders and state governments. While at Shell, Scott successfully guided several significant regulatory commenting campaigns; designed Shell’s proposed royalty structure for oil shale development to the BLM; and worked with environmental NGOs to successfully influence new Colorado hard rock mining regulations.
Tania Ziegler is the Head of Global Benchmarking at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, Cambridge Judge Business School and manages the Centre’s alternative finance benchmarking program. This programme tracks the growth and development of capital raising alternative finance activities spanning Europe, North, Central and South America, Asia and the Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa. She has authored 18 industry reports since joining the CCAF. Tania is an expert on SME finance and also leads the Centre’s work on ‘SME Access to Finance in LATAM’. Tania completed an MSc at the London School of Economics, and a BA at Loyola College Maryland. Tania is a 2010 Fulbright Scholar.
About COVID-19 Roundtable Series
In times of crisis, accurate and timely information is key. Sharing knowledge and practical experience are proven forms of investment that pave the path to success. With the purpose of helping our members build their own knowledge advantage, the SME Finance Forum facilitates activities and learning opportunities with the strategic approach of collecting and disseminating the best practices, while connecting SME finance experts and practitioners within our global network. Starting in late March, the Forum hosts weekly virtual roundtable sessions focusing on mitigation efforts used to cope with COVID-19, sharing those experiences in a continuous and real-time basis. Learn more>
For members, please register on Member's Portal.
For more information, please contact us at smefinanceforum@ifc.org
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Policy & RegulationCovid-19