The G-20 SME Finance Challenge

The G-20 has just committed more than one-half billion dollars to support the winners of the G-20 SME Finance Challenge. Pres. Barack Obama, Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated the winners in person and announced this stupendous funding commitment at the closing of the G-20 Seoul Summit.

The winners of the G-20 SME Finance Challenge were present at the G-20 Seoul Summit. They are also invited to attend an SME conference in Cologne, Germany on November 15-16, 2010.

The G-20 SME Finance Challenge Media Center is filled with story leads and other news about this initiative.


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Early Entry Prize: The best entry submitted by 5:00 PM EDT, August 6, 2010 won a US$1000 prize awarded by Ashoka Changemakers. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you from winning the challenge in any way, or guarantee finalist status-all entries will be equally evaluated per the Changemakers criteria at the completion of the entry period. G-20 SME Finance Challenge Winners: On October 27, the panel of expert judges will select 12-15 winners from the entire Challenge. Challenge winners, including at least one solution from each of six regions (Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, the Western Hemisphere, Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia), will be invited to the G-20 Leaders Summit in Korea November 11-12, where they will showcase their ideas. The G-20 will work with the winners to help implement their proposals. The G-20 is collectively committed to mobilizing the public share of the funding needed to implement winning proposals from development banks and interested bilateral donors. IFC and the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the African Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development have all indicated their support for implementing scalable and sustainable SME financing proposals, including those from the Challenge, in partnership with the private sector. The form of funding available will depend upon the requirements of winning proposals, and may include grants for technical assistance or capacity-building, risk sharing or first-loss capital, mezzanine capital, and investment capital. People's Choice Winners After the judges select the 12-15 winners, the Changemakers online community will vote for three "people's choice winners." Voting will take place October 29 - November 8, 2010 and the three winners with the most votes will be recognized on and at the Korea Summit. At a ceremony closing the G-20 Summit in Seoul Korea, the G-20 agreed to commit a total of US $528 million to scale up the winning proposals to increase financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the online G-20 SME Finance Challenge. The Group of 20 and Ashoka Changemakers, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, selected the 14 best worldwide models of catalyzing finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through an online competition.