Digitizing Micro & Small Enterprises for Financial Inclusion: Opportunities & Challenges
Emerging fintech business models demonstrate potential to address the financing needs of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) that are too small, costly, and complex to serve for traditional providers. This is opportune because MSEs are progressively embracing digital tools and technologies in ways that could help them access finance to pursue their growth and stability strategies. However, this digitization is neither universal nor inevitable – the smallest, poorest, and women-owned MSEs face several challenges and risk being left behind. CGAP’s primary research with 400 MSEs in India, Kenya and Peru finds a widespread lack of trust in fintech providers, particularly digital credit providers, and low digital capacity, which positions them poorly to take advantage of fintech providers to meet their enterprise finance needs.
In this webinar, experts from CGAP, MicroSave Consulting, Center for Financial Inclusion, and Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth discussed opportunities and challenges MSEs face in embracing digitization and how stakeholders in the financial inclusion community can support efforts to build trust in fintech providers.
Payal Dalal | Senior Vice President (Social Impact, International Markets), Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth
Payal oversees the Center’s philanthropic investments around the globe. Previously, she was Head of Global Community Programs for Standard Chartered Bank, overseeing programs related to education, health, emergency response, and disaster relief. With a professional background in international philanthropy and politics, she has worked with World Affairs Council, the Global Philanthropy Forum and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Office of President William J. Clinton. In 2014 and 2015, Secretary Clinton appointed Payal to be a program advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative.
Shradha Modi | Research Director, Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI)
Shradha plays a leading role in framing research and insights on projects across CFI’s portfolio. Currently, she is responsible for the research initiative examining the impact of COVID-19 on MSE performance and resilience. Shradha joined CFI in 2020. Previously, Shradha was a budget and strategic planning manager with Accion, where she worked closely with senior management in stewarding Accion’s resources. Before Accion, she worked with a clean energy investor supporting their investment and portfolio management activities..
Anup Singh | Partner, MicroSave Consulting (MSC)
Anup leads MSC’s regional office in Anglophone Africa and heads the Helix Institute based in Nairobi, Kenya. With 16 years of experience, his expertise includes the digital transformation of financial institutions, digital readiness assessment of social protection programs, digital credit scoping, design and policy, training programs, and FinTech mapping, scoping, and policy design.
Sai Krishna Kumaraswamy | Financial Sector Analyst, CGAP
Sai Krishna researches financial and business model innovations in Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) finance. His current focus includes emerging FinTech business models, ethnographic research with MSEs, investigating the impact narrative of MSE finance, and gender mainstreaming in business model analysis. He has previously worked on Pay-As-You-Go off-grid solar financing and rural cash-in-cash-out (CICO) agent networks. Sai Krishna is a Chartered Accountant with over 10 years of accounting, audit, and management consulting experience in India.
Swati Sawhney | Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
Swati is a consultant to CGAP with extensive global experience in access to finance across Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, the US, and the UK. She manages CGAP’s portfolio of pilots on emerging FinTech MSE models and ethnographic research with MSEs. Previously, Swati was a Senior Financial Sector Specialist with the IFC and World Bank’s Finance and Markets Global Practice, where she led development of enabling financial infrastructure programs for South Asia and MSME financial inclusion work in India. She has previously worked with E&Y, DAI and Citigroup.