SME Finance Challenge

SME Finance Challenge

The G20 launched the Challenge in August 2010 in an effort to identify innovations in small business finance and the Forum was tasked with administering it.
Fourteen winners were selected based on criteria such as innovation, leverage, social and economic impact, and sustainability. Thirteen winners received US$ 22 million in funding from Canada, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the United States Agency for In¬ternational Development (USAID), which enabled them to implement their winning proposals.
All the Challenge winners have already completed their projects. As of December 2015, the 13 Challenge winners that received grants have gone on to provide financing and technical assistance to more than 233,000 SMEs. They disbursed or facilitated over US$ 2 billion in funding for SMEs. In addition, several Challenge winners have developed innovative SME finance tools and provided training to SMEs.

The G-20 SME Finance Challenge surfaced some of the most innovative solutions to help SMEs attract commercial bank and investor interest.

Bill Drayton, Chairman and CEO, Ashoka


SME Finance Challenge Winners

Bank of the Philippine Islands

Sustainable energy finance program for SMEs

Barefoot Power

Providing micro supplier credit for LED lighting systems

Bid Network

Preparing Emerging Market Entrepreneurs for Investors

Building Markets

Providing credit guarantees to SMEs bidding on larger donor procurement

Capital Tool Company

Scalable SME finance solution without the costs and risks

Entrepreneurial Finance Lab

Automated SME credit risk profiling tool

Equity for Africa

Financing equipment to help small entrepreneurs grow

European Fund for Southeast Europe

Training and lending to SME financing institutions

Grassroots Business Fund

Reaching under-served agricultural SMEs


Providing support and channeling impact investment to social enterprises

Medical Credit Fund

Facilitating loans to private health SMEs in Africa

MFX Solutions

Eliminating currency risk for international SME lenders


Leveraging local equity firms to finance high impact SME

Root Capital

Pioneering finance for rural communities