Washington D.C., November 8, 2011—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, announced the SME Finance Forum, a platform
for small and medium businesses to share financial data, research, and
Unveiled at the Group of 20 summit in Cannes, France, last week, the forum
is one of many initiatives designed to increase access to financial services
for households and small businesses. The SME Finance Forum, managed
by IFC, will launch Spring 2012.
As an integral contributor to the G-20 leadership’s financial inclusion
agenda, IFC also publicly released in Cannes four reports aimed at helping
the estimated 2.7 billion people and 400 million businesses worldwide that
do not have access to financial services and products needed for growth.
The four IFC reports endorsed by the G20 are the "SME Finance Policy
Guide," a reference guide for governments and regulators on financial
inclusion strategies; “Strengthening Access to Finance for Women-Owned
SMEs in Developing Countries;” “Scaling Up Access to Finance for
Agricultural SMEs;” and "Financial Inclusion Data: Assessing
the Landscape and Country-level Target Approaches."
“Addressing the obstacles faced by SMEs requires international development
institutions, governments, and the private sector to continue to work together,
“ said Peer Stein, IFC’s head of Access to Finance. “IFC is shaping
policy that translates into much-needed improvement in financial access
for households and businesses in developing countries.”
At the G-20 summit in Seoul last year, IFC was designated one of the three
implementing partners of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion,
along with the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and CGAP, an independent
policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for
the world's poor.
As part of its role in the GPFI, IFC contributed to the SME Finance Challenge,
a competition launched by the G-20 to identify models that enable access
to finance for SMEs. IFC established a fund for winners of the challenge.
At last week’s Cannes summit, the G-20 leadership lauded IFC’s role in
setting up a finance framework that mobilizes grant and risk capital for
winning proposals from the SME Finance Challenge and for scaling up successful
SME financing models.
G-20 leaders also called on IFC to continue supporting supply-side data
collection work, in collaboration with CGAP and the IMF.
To access the four reports, please visit http://www.ifc.org/accesstofinance
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing
advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital
in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty
across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental
performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving
our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information,