BNM, AFI, World Bank end SME seminar

Andalid Mushtari from Ministry of Finance, Afghanistan raises his hand to ask a question during a seminar on building sustainable finance ecosystems for SMEs held in Kuala Lumpur.
2020-02-28

A four-day peer learning seminar ended on 27 February with participants using their learnings to identify the key components needed to create strategies towards building sustainable finance ecosystems for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The capacity building event, the first-ever co-organized by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), World Bank and AFI, focused on four main topics relating to SME finance: SME ecosystems, credit infrastructure, microfinance and alternative finance or financial technology (FinTech) for SME finance.

On its last day, sessions shone a spotlight on innovations in advancing financial inclusion for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). 

Addressing risks posed by the climate emergency, AFI’s Head of Inclusive Green Finance (IGF), Johanna Nyman, shared a preview of the results of a survey conducted by the SME Finance Working Group on IGF policies for MSMEs. From refinancing mitigation, climate risk insurance, disaster contingency mechanisms and capacity building, the survey takes stock of policies that AFI members have enacted for MSMEs in the context of climate change.

The immense possibilities of new financing models for MSMEs and startups were also highlighted with in-depth discussions on concepts such as peer-to-peer lending, equity crowdfunding and innovation-driven enterprises. Participants also learnt about how enterprises of varying sizes can capitalize on alternative financing mechanisms in order to start, innovate, grow and even exit their businesses.

Bringing the event to a close was BNM’s deputy director at its Human Capital Development Centre, Ruziana Mohd Mokhtar, who thanked all those involved for a successful seminar. This sentiment was echoed by AFI’s learning & development specialist, Hamizi Hamza, in his concluding remarks, before asking participants to collect their certificates of completion.

Officials from government and financial sector regulatory agencies attended the event, including AFI members from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ecuador, The Gambia, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zambia. 

It was the second event in as many weeks to showcase continued collaboration between BNM and AFI, with the first designed to provide AFI network members with the opportunity to learn from the Malaysian central bank’s expertise in cybersecurity.