Cologne, May 12, 2014 – Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are important engines of growth and job creation around the world. However, access to finance, especially the lack of innovative financial products, represents one of the greatest challenges for SMEs in developing and emerging markets. SMEs are often too small to attract the interest of commercial banks or investors, but too large to benefit from microfinance products. Until now, only a few scalable solutions to support this “missing middle” of the economy have been found.
To address this challenge and to facilitate reliable access to investment financing for SMEs, DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH has launched the SME Finance Innovation Award. The Award reaches out to all types of financial institutions. It acknowledges innovative financial instruments created to reach SMEs in developing and emerging countries. These include innovative products, services and distribution channels helping SMEs in these markets achieve their full potential.