You can vote for the three People's Choice Winners from these 14 winning solutions.
Training and supporting SMEs
Aavishkaar provides finance, training, and support to the poorest rural Indian communities to create inclusive economic development through scalable, rural-focused enterprises. Aavishkaar empowers rural entrepreneurs to build livelihood opportunities and increase local production across various sectors while provideing attractive returns for investors.
The Grassroots Business Fund (GBF) provides asset financing to agriculture small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been underserved by existing financial services. GBF enables East African businesses to increase productivity, expand operations, and generate higher revenues by providing SMEs with a combination of training, investment, and evaluation.
The Medical Credit Fund (MCF) is a social investment fund that provides access to capital and technical assistance to needy, lower-tier, private healthcare facilities. By providing credit at conditions that are more favorable than those offered by the standard market, MCF improves the efficiency and quality of private healthcare providers in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Barefoot power is an innovative trade finance fund that designs and manufactures technology products, such as solar lighting kits, with the potential to reduce poverty in developing countries. It gives a grassroots network of entrepreneurs access to quality products, and capacity building assistance on all levels of the supply chain to scale-up businesses and strengthen local communities.
Sustainable Energy Finance (SEF) program is helping to lead the green energy revolution by creating a market that provides SMEs with financing for sustainable energy projects in the Philippines. SEF opens the door for SMEs to invest in cleaner capital equipment technologies. The SEF model enhances the credit of small energy players, mitigates lender risk, and creates sensitive social businesses.
rABOP (co-managed by responsAbility Social Investments AG and SIFEM AG) is a social investment company with a unique solution for providing equity as long-term risk capital – the scarcest type of capital for SMEs – as well as institutional capacity-building through locally-based fund managers. Investments are made on the basis of the economic potential of selected SMEs, rather than hard collateral, addressing a significant barrier for SMEs that are seeking finance.
Entrepreneurial Finance Lab (EFL) employs a low-cost, adaptable technology that accurately predicts credit risk and upside potential in the absence of credit history or collateral, something that is not available for most SMEs. EFL breaches the existing finance gap by vetting high potential, growth-generating SMEs in Latin America and Africa, providing access to capital for the developing world’s “missing middle.”
BiD Network increases the visibility and capacity of SMEs by engaging thousands of entrepreneurs, experts, and investors around the world to stimulate economic growth in emerging markets. Its online, multi-community platform (BiD Web) prepares high-impact SMEs for investment through professional business development opportunities.
Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making peace and humanitarian operations more effective, efficient, and equitable. PDT is building a Peace Dividend Marketplace (PDM), the only large-scale initiative currently underway to help local entrepreneurs in post-conflict countries reinvest in their communities by bidding on tenders for international contracts.
Tapping New Markets
Equity for Africa (EFA) bridges the SME financing gap in Sub-Saharan Africa through low-cost “transition investing,” leading to job creation rates that are almost ten times higher than other SME investments. EFA offers entrepreneurs previously unavailable finance to scale-up their businesses through innovative equipment-based leasing.
MFX Solutions provides international microfinance lenders with currency hedging in markets where it is currently unavailable or unaffordable. This allows them to make local currency loans to SMEs in underserved, volatile markets without incurring the risk of devaluation. MFX effectively enables investors to provide more funding, more securely, to poor entrepreneurs in the developing world.
The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) is improving SME access to financing with a unique, tiered funding structure that better leverages private capital. By combining public and private capital, EFSE ensures a sustainable, scalable, and flexible financing system that adapts to market needs. The program fosters local economic development and prosperity for European SMEs.
Root Capital is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses in rural areas of developing countries by disbursing fixed-price forward contracts as loan collateral. Root Capital’s innovative lending model has successfully created a new capital class to bridge the “missing middle” between microfinance and corporate banking, encouraging financial institutions to enter the SME lending market.
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