Activities under Cluster 3 aim to improve the understanding of new trends in MSME financing and to enhance the capacities of policymakers and MSMEs to facilitate MSME access to finance.
In the area of access to finance, the project is delivering a series of national and regional studies on MSME financing. The studies give an overview of specific financing challenges, including COVID-19 related challenges, and discuss some recommendations and ‘take-aways’ that illustrate new and potential avenues of intervention for MSME finance in Asia and the Pacific region. They include an exciting and new paradigm to frame access to finance, which was inspired by the ikigai approach, and discuss the pivotal role of digitalisation (particularly digital payments), fintech and financial institutions to improve MSME’s access to financing in both intra-pandemic and post-pandemic situations.
The cluster is also delivering tailored training activities for policymakers and regulatory authorities such as courses and online tools on accounting for MSMEs (SMEGA) and on environmental and social reporting (GCI). Moreover, the project is preparing national and regional workshops which aim to enhance i) the knowledge and capacity of the stakeholders on MSME development to foster a favourable ecosystem for financial inclusion and sustainability, mainly through strengthening MSME clustering and digital financial solutions, and (ii) the resilience of MSMEs to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and facilitate MSMEs’ contributions to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).