Round 3 of SME Finance Innovation Challenge fund calling for applications
The FSDT is pleased to announce the Third Round of the SME Finance ICF Competition which will be officially opened on 5th December, 2013 and closed on 28th February, 2014. This challenge is aimed at financial service providers (banks and non-banks) to test and develop innovative business models that will deliver new products and better services to underserved SME clients.
The importance of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) for economic competitiveness, growth, employment and poverty reduction is widely recognized. Poor access to finance remains a constraint for SMEs. Though the range of products supplied is limited there is little innovation going on.
SME Finance ICF first issued this challenge to financial service providers (banks and non-banks) in June 2011 to test and develop innovative business models that will deliver new products and better services to underserved SMEs. The ICF is a risk-sharing mechanism. By financing up to half of the cost of developing new services, FSDT seeks to encourage ideas what might otherwise be too risky to attract commercial operators but are still worth undertaking. The ICF will not finance normal course of business or capital for on-lending. Grant awards are made through a two-stage competitive process, in the range US$100,000 to US$500,000. Decisions are guided by an independent panel.
In the first ICF Round 19 complete applications were received and 13 in the second round. The first winner, Go Finance Limited, has developed an MIS system for speedy appraisal of short term credit for distributors of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).
The sophomore winners, Problem Solved Limited, are rolling out Minishop, software aimed at assisting SMEs in record keeping.
Application forms, guiding notes and FAQs for the 3rd round are now available on the SME Finance page ->