Our events

Our events

SME Finance Innovation Hubs

31 December 2021
SME Finance Innovation Hubs

Our SME Finance Innovation Hubs are designed exclusively for our members and partners as best practice transfer platforms.

They are groups of practitioners who meet to share good practices and seek solutions to challenges that they face in their institutions while working on SME financing. Innovation meetings are for members and partners only. They convene professionals from around the globe and are usually off the record, which allows for open discussions and deep exploration of the topic.   

Our Innovation hubs are designed to drive outcomes through 7 key enablers:

Ecosystem: Creating an ecosystem of members and strategic partners.
Solutions: Addressing specific and evolving problems identified by members.
Members-Led: Members co-chair and take on various roles in execution.
Synergy: Leveraging expertise and networks from both external and internal partners.
Clinics: Organizing “Solutions Clinics” to solve problems and foster best practice transfer.
Content: Generating industry-leading content, conducting research, and running pilots.
Market: Sourcing industry solutions through Tech-Sprints and global networks.


Our Innovation hubs leverage knowledge to solve problems through:

 Solutions Clinic


 On-going discussion groups

 Knowledge repository


Contribute and learn about leading market solutions in our innovation labs and best practice transfer hubs.

Digital and Embedded Finance

Learn with a group of SME finance experts how FIs and MSMEs can digitally transform rapidly through generative AI, analytics, blockchain, customer experience and digital processing. Share your digital transformation journey and the challenges you faced and learn from other peers' experiences and good practices. 


Supply Chain Finance

The Supply Chain Finance Innovation Hub develops a supportive and innovative community of SME finance professionals dedicated to expanding access to financing for SMEs through Supply Chain Financing solutions. The Community focuses on (i) supporting members with achieving scale and efficiency in SCF solutions through the promotion and adoption of innovative digital solutions and industry best practices, (ii) integrating sustainability and E&S solutions in Supply Chain Financing, (iii) scaling private sector solutions in SCF to enhance access to finance for SMEs thus increasing job creation.

  • July 31st, 2024 - Supply Chain Finance - [Solutions Clinic]


This hub gathers a group of experts and practitioners who discuss and document recent innovations in the sector. The objective is to promote learning and sharing of good practice examples that help members improve their services to agri-SMEs. The deep-dive workshop sessions will cover different aspects: Green finance, Alternative data, Platforms connecting farmers to inputs and markets, Long term finance, Insurance solutions, Cooperatives, Gender, Rebuilding agrifinance systems after COVID and agriculture value chain finance.

Sustainable SME Finance

The Sustainable SME Finance hub focuses on the challenges and opportunities of extending green finance to the SME sector. Sessions cover all aspects of environmentally sustainable SME finance, including green finance, blue finance, and finance for climate change resilience. The community discusses innovative technologies for monitoring and verification, maps sources of DFI and government support for green finance, and showcases members’ work in terms of sustainable SME finance in practice.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance

The WEF hub is a member driven community that aims to translate shared lessons and experiences into practical knowledge that our diverse members can apply to better serve Women-SME’s.
Focused on unique challenges and solutions for W-SMEs, our hub meetings encourage members to share deeper insights on practical topics, respective institutional approaches, and operations. We also facilitate open discussions for members to voluntarily share unique experiences and discuss solutions from diverse markets and regions. During our interactive sessions, members voluntarily discuss practical topics on offering financial solutions to W-SMEs, these include Product Design and Delivery, Business Development, Risk Management, Alternative Data, Legal and Regulatory matters.

  • August 7th, 2024 - Women Entrepreneurship finance Innovation hub launch


Risk Management

This hub focuses on credit risk, market risk, and operational risk faced by institutions working in SME banking. The hub covers all aspects of the risk management process, including risk identification, risk assessment and measurement, risk mitigation, risk reporting, risk monitoring, and control.
In addition to control cycle and business processes, the hub looks at strategy, risk appetite, governance, and infrastructure. Infrastructure includes policies and procedures, risk measurement methodologies and tools, data and MIS infrastructure, organization, people training, and culture. 

Domestic and international development finance institutions (DFIs) 

DFIs are specialized banks that are created by government(s) to promote economic growth, poverty alleviation, SME development, job creations, gender equality, etc, both in developing and developed economies. DFIs adopt the same rules, policies and use the same instruments as commercial banks such as loans, credit lines, equity, and guarantees. Due to their different focus and development mandate, they tend to take more risks and adopt a longer-term perspective on their financial performance and profitability than commercial banks. Because of the above-mentioned differences, DFIs face specific challenges many which are not encountered by the commercial financial institutions. DFIs represent an important composition of the membership of the SME Finance Forum. While many of the activities of the SME Finance Forum are relevant and useful for the DFI members, a community of practice of development finance institutions is deemed necessary so to enable them to share their learning and experiences with one another as well as to explore ways they could collaborate and explore partnership.

Financial Education and Capacity Building

TO BE LAUNCHED in November 2024

While there are many chaleenges for SMEs, there are important steps SMEs can take to build resilience, including improvements in financial literacy to navigate uncertainty.  Business decisions can be challenging for SMEs if they fail to identify key metrics to measure performance and report relevant data to financial service providers.
This hub will discuss how to help SMEs improve financial understanding and awareness, get relevant business advice and effectively manage liquidity and debt.
On the other end, members will also tackle how financial service providers can improve their own undersantding of digital disruptions in financial services​ so they can implement emerging technologies successfully and build skills to lead in the future of finance.