How does your proposed innovation leverage public intervention in catalyzing private SME finance?
Yes, BiD leverages private, corporate and public actors to achieve its goals. Together they make up some 700 organisations that support our network.
. In the west BiD leverages the support of the Dutch government's agencies like FMO for SME Finance, PUM for knowledge transfer, CBI for export advice, PSI for SME startup grants, the embassies for local outreach, NCDO for communications and events, and more.
. In the USA, the Obama administration's program on Global Entrepreneurship invited BiD Network's director to their advisory board. For this BiD Network organised "listening sessions" on SME Finance and on Connectivity for entrepreneurs in Muslim majority countries.
. In Mexico BiD's partner is Fundacion-E who coordinates all incubator activities in the country for the Mexican government.
. In Ecuador BiD's partner is ConQuito which is the entrepreneurship programme of the Municipality of Quito - also the largest programme of its kind in the country. Together we organise national business plan competition.
. In Argentina the government's investment matching program co-invests with private investors to finance SMEs. In 2009 6 companies got seed funding in this manner.
. In Tanzania the President talked on a televised programme on entrepreneurship and in support of the BiD Challenge - the BiD Network business plan competition.
. In Colombia BiD's partner La Universidad de los Andes works closely with the Ministry of Commerce to ensure public, financial and PR support.
We see a lot of potential for catalyzing SME finance through joint public intervention. The methods can be clustered in 4 ways:
1. Bring our online platform to Government entrepreneurship agencies and incubators. BiD has had several requests to copy our model to support the Enterprise Agencies of the governments of Vietnam, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, El Salvador and other developing countries. With our current platform we can't deal with the volume and language diversity. This proposal is to make the changes necessary to facilitate a multi-community platform;
2. As of 2011 BiD with a parter organisation www.spark-online.org will develop advocacy strategies for removing barriers to doing business in 6 countries: Burundi, Liberia, Rwanda, Colombia, Kosovo and Palestine. Our approach will be bottom up: entrepreneurs' experiences will be used to inform policy makers on the issues. Entrepreneurs will be given a platform to speak up. If successful in improving the www.doingbusiness.org indicators we will expand this programme.
3. Entrepreneurial and investor culture needs to be cultivated. We aim to develop TV formats like "Dragon's Den" to develop an interest in entrepreneurship. Likewise investing in SMEs is a new phenomenon. BiD aims to cultivate interest among the wealthy & middle class. Leveraging local capital is better and easier for SMEs than engaging western capital. Public TV channels can be used to promote this.
4. We plan to lobby local governments for incentives for capital markets. This can range from creating matching funds; tax rebates & exemptions; mobilizing credit from banks. Our approach is entrepreneur or investor driven - they sign petitions and lobby on their own behalf as groups.