Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) constitute the foundation of the global economy – from New York to Lagos to Jakarta. While the range of their activities spans the spectrum of agriculture, manufacturing, and services, all MSMEs face the same challenge in finding the money they need to hire new employees, purchase inventory, or upgrade their equipment in order to grow. This Accion Insights paper explores how innovative, tech-enabled lenders are using niche marketing, digital or mobile platforms, and enterprising partnerships – and often a combination of all three – to make financing available to underserved MSMEs. Informed by its investments and work with more than a dozen fintech start-ups in the MSME finance space, Accion Venture Lab charts a course for investors, regulators, microfinance institutions, and entrepreneurs to seize today’s opportunity to close the gap.
Venture Lab developed this report with the support of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.