Generic placeholder image

SME Finance Working
Group (SMEFWG)

SME Finance Working
Group (SMEFWG)

A unique platform for policymakers to discuss, innovate and create smart policies that help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) access to finance and formal financial services.

Created in 2013, AFI’s SME Finance Working Group (SMEFWG) promotes the discussion and the implementation of smart policy frames that facilitate access of MSMEs to finance and provide a platform for AFI member institutions to discuss the challenges and opportunities to achieve sustainable development for this niche of the global economy.

Its outcomes shed light on different policies solutions and lessons learned from the national implementation of direct interventions and programs.



Waleed Eid Samarah, Central Bank of Jordan




Jason Barrantes - SUGEF Costa Rica

  • The SMEF Working Group promotes the discussion and the implementation of smart policy frames that facilitate access of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to finance, and provide a platform for AFI member institutions to discuss the challenges and opportunities to achieve sustainable development for this niche of the global economy.
  • Exchange knowledge and establish a common understanding of policies that promote tangible access and usage of financial services for MSMEs.
  • Identify policy frameworks learned from different regions and different actors involved in spurring the viability and financial inclusion of MSMEs, with a specific but not exclusive focus on financial sector policies.
  • MSME Data Subgroup:
    SME Data Framework covering three dimensions; demographic, economic, and financial indicators that serve as a guide for members in assessing and addressing data gaps.
  • MSME Alternative Finance Subgroup:
    Policy Framework on MSME Finance Ecosystem in Africa, a Policy Catalogue on SME Financing Interventions in Africa and MENA, a Survey Report on Alternative Financing for MSMEs, a Case Study on Leasing from Belarus, and a Survey Report on Leveraging FinTech for MSME Financing.
  • MSME Education Subgroup:
    Case Study on MSME Education.
  • Onboarding of the Informal Sector Subgroup (jointly with FISPLG):
    Policy Framework on onboarding of the informal sector.
  • Gender Inclusive Finance Subgroup:
    Policy Framework on Women-Led MSME Financing and a Policy Catalogue on Women-Led MSME Financing.


  • SME Finance Responses to COVID-19 in AFI Member Countries
  • Inclusive Green Finance Policies for MSMEs


  • Guideline Note 36:SME Finance Guideline Note
  • Case Study: Gender, Women’s Economic Empowerment and Financial Inclusion in Zimbabwe


  • Case Study:Agricultural Finance Intervention in the Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Case Study: Agricultural Finance Intervention in Ghana


  • Case Study:: Meeting the financial needs of the agriculture sector through prudentially regulated SACCOs in Kenya
  • Survey Report: Defining Small and Medium Enterprises in the AFI Network
  • Survey Report on SME Finance Policies for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Owned by Women and Women Entrepreneurs
  • Case Study:Expanding Women’s Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh through MSME Financial Policies


  • Guideline Note 23: The Role of Financial Regulators in Promoting Access to Financing more MSMEs: Lessons from the AFI Network


  • Guideline Note 16: SME Financial Inclusion Indicators Base Set


  • Enhancing SME Access to Finance (Joint Paper with GPFI)
  • Ministry of Finance of Eswatini
    Regulatory Framework for Development Finance in the Kingdom of Eswatini
  • Bank of Zambia
    Pricing of Products and Services by FSPs
  • Central Bank of Solomon Islands
    MSME Bill and Business Loan Guarantee Scheme Framework & MSME Policy Performance Monitoring Framework
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
    Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) – Finance Survey: Vying the MSMEs Survey Challenges for ways forward
  • Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
    Regulations for Deposit Taking Micro Finance Institution (MFI) in Bhutan.
  • National Treasury of the Republic of South Africa
    South Africa’s SME Finance Infrastructure Projects — Partial Credit Guarantee System, Movable Assets Registry and Small Enterprise Shared Credit Information Services.
  • SUGEF Costa Rica
  • Banco Sentral ng Pilipinas
  • Banco Central de Reserva de El Salvador
  • Banco Central de Timor-Leste
  • Banco Central del Paraguay
  • Banco de Moçambique
  • Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
  • Bangladesh Bank
  • Bank Al-Maghrib
  • Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Bank of Ghana
  • Bank of Namibia
  • Bank of Papua New Guinea
  • Bank of Sierra Leone
  • Bank of Tanzania
  • Bank of Thailand
  • Bank of Uganda
  • Bank of Zambia
  • Banque Centrale de Mauritanie
  • Banque Centrale de Tunisie
  • Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO)
  • Banque Centrale du Congo
  • Banque de la République d’Haiti
  • Banque de la République du Burundi
  • Central Bank of Armenia
  • Central Bank of Egypt
  • Central Bank of Eswatini
  • Central Bank of Jordan
  • Central Bank of Nigeria
  • Central Bank of Samoa
  • Central Bank of Seychelles
  • Central Bank of Solomon Islands
  • Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Central Bank of The Gambia
  • Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Central Bank of the Russian Federation
  • Centrale Bank van Suriname
  • Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores de México (CNBV)
  • Da Afghanistan Bank
  • Direction Générale du Trésor, Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances, Madagascar
  • Financial Regulatory Commission of Mongolia
  • > Maldives Monetary Authority
  • Ministère de l’Economie, des Finances et du Budget du Sénégal
  • Ministry of Finance – Eswatini
  • Ministry of Finance Zambia
  • National Bank of Cambodia
  • National Bank of Rwanda
  • National Bank of Tajikistan
  • National Bank of the Republic of Belarus
  • National Reserve Bank of Tonga
  • Nepal Rastra Bank
  • Palestine Monetary Authority
  • Reserve Bank of Fiji
  • Reserve Bank of Malawi
  • Reserve Bank of Vanuatu
  • Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
  • Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan
  • Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) Kenya
  • Superintendencia de la Economía Popular y Solidaria de Ecuador
  • Superintendencia General de Entidades
    Financieras de Costa Rica (SUGEF)


Supply Chain Finance (SCF) companies are fast emerging as preferred lending solutions partners for the vastly under-served MSME sector. Powered by new-age, advanced financial technologies, new SCF tools hold the promise to mitigate the funding woes of small-scale businesses. SCF lenders have a wider outreach among small businesses, ensuring faster loan approvals and seamless transaction processing on timely schedules with flexible terms. With the current pandemic of COVID-19, the disruption of the global supply chain, many of which will impact related financing structures from a macro perspective of which the demand patterns in our economy will have a distorting impact on business and industries, resulting in flow-on effects for supply chains and, by extension, the financing structures that support them.

- Read More

MSMEs play a huge role in facilitating economic development, including employment, GDP and export. In spite of their importance, access to financing is still one of the challenges to growth due to shortage of MSME credit data, also known as ‘thin file’ borrowers. A better methodology of MSME data collection and utilization will encourage countries to relook at their financial inclusion indicators for MSMEs and develop better policies in the direction of improvement.

- Read More

© Alliance for Financial Inclusion 2009-2021