SME Finance Forum Member Services for 2023

SME Finance Forum Member Services for 2023

The SME Finance Forum membership community consists of more than 240 member institutions active in 190 countries. The community is a unique mix of commercial banks, fintechs, non-bank financial institutions and development finance institutions. 

Members are entitled to a wide range of benefits in 2023, including: 

Virtual Events
We will be holding three virtual meetings per month. Members will have opportunities to take a leadership role by presenting at these meetings. These virtual events will include:

  • One webinar per month: these are learning events where members hear from industry experts on best practices, innovations, and challenges in SME finance. These events are occasionally open to the public to ensure a wider dialogue.

  • One community of practice (CoP) meeting per month: these are solutions clinics or technical presentations on aspects of best practice in SME finance. These meetings are never open to the public and are not recorded. They are a private space for member institutions to freely share lessons learned. They will focus on five themes: Risk Management, Women’s Entrepreneurship Finance, AgriFinance, Green Finance and Development Finance Institutions.

  • One “Marketplace” session per month: these are virtual networking sessions at which banks, fintechs, DFIs and NBFIs pitch for partnerships with other members of the network and connected institutions. These meetings are open to the public, but members have preference to present.

Members have the option of sponsoring a virtual event. In this case the member is free to set the agenda and choose speakers with Forum’s help for a virtual event, which we will produce, market, and publicize.

Throughout the year those events will be following 6 key cross-cutting themes:  

  • Sustainable Finance  
  • Inclusive Finance  
  • Supply Chain  
  • Agrifinance  
  • Digital Transformation and Ecosystem  
  • Data, Risk and Regulation   

In-Person Events 

  • We will hold the Global SME Finance Forum meeting, in-person, the week of 2 October 2023, most likely in India. Discussions this year will focus on “Building Digital Ecosystems for SMEs”. This three-day conference is the world’s largest and most high-level event on SME Finance. Members can access that meeting for free.  
    We will organize the 6th Annual Global SME Finance Awards which will be launched in March and awarded in October during the Global meeting.

  • We expect to organize a regional meeting in May in Africa. This meeting will focus on SME financial inclusion opportunities. For your reference, see the regional meeting we organized in Kenya in 2018. This is envisioned as a two-day regional meeting gathering SME finance leaders from across a specific region. Members can access that meeting for free. This meeting will be planned and implemented primarily by members/constituents in the host country in partnership with the SME Finance Forum. This is a unique opportunity for a host country and institutions to take a leadership role in showcasing and hosting peers from across the continent, including the chance to set the agenda and format of the meeting.

  • We anticipate organizing immersion programs in March to DBS, the leading financial services group in Asia at the forefront of leveraging digital technology and later in Q2/Q3 2023, to other innovators still to be confirmed. These will be in-person events in which a member or group of members agrees to host a small delegation of Forum members. These events provide extensive and intimate access, over a multi-day program, to some of the world’s leading SME lenders. These events are open to members only with a small fee for participation.

Leadership opportunities for commited members

  • DFI members of the SME Finance Forum can attend, lead and present at meetings of the SME Finance Forum DFI CoP, a unique community of SME professionals at international and domestic development finance institutions. This CoP will seek to coordinate initiatives and share best practices in SME finance development.

  • Forum members involved in green finance can take a leading role in the SME Finance Forum SME Green Finance CoP, a newly launching community of industry professionals and IFC experts committed to developing best practices in the emerging field of green finance for SMEs.

  • Forum members with a special interest in closing the gender gap in SME Finance can take a leading role in our Women Entrepreneurs CoP, a community of practice bringing together gender-focused initiatives from the commercial banking and development banking fields.

  • Forum members with an interest in developing and innovating in the field of risk management can take a leading role in our Risk Management CoP, which disseminates best practices across the global SME banking industry. 

  • Finally, those members focusing on Agrifinance can join our Agrifinance CoP, a group of experts and practitioners who discuss and document recent innovations in the sector.  

  • Members who want to set the agenda more directly can sponsor events, panels, or other outputs, using our community and networks to extend their impact. 

  • Individuals at member institutions who are committed to our work in the long-term can put themselves forward for a role as an SME Finance Forum Ambassador, or even as a member of our Governing Council.


Networking and introductions

  • Members may approach their SME Finance Forum relationship manager at any time to request an introduction to any other SME Finance Forum member. Our community reaches across industries and geographies. Members may also request suggestions on who they should be introduced to, whether that be companies in a specific industry, or users of a specific technology. 

  • We hold numerous networking events. These are both virtual and physical, with our global meeting being the largest and most influential networking space we offer. A large part of our mission is building connections between our members.


Marketing and Communications 

  • The SME Finance Forum team publicizes and markets members’ publications, launches and best practices by member request. 

  • Our social media channels, website and mailings are a powerful way to reach large sections of the SME Finance world, and to spur engagement in members’ own initiatives.


Other Benefits 

  • We will be involved in organizing G20 and APEC virtual workshops with opportunities for presentations. We will continue promoting the G20 database which showcases good practices on digital and innovative financial products and services for MSMEs beyond credit.   

  • We will continue discounts for members wanting to attend other major meetings run by our partners, including Fintech Nexus, Lendit, Money2020 and Finovate.  

  • We will survey our members quarterly through our pulse survey to assess the level of operations and digitalization trends, as well as send out an annual survey focused on the SME Finance Forum’s services and programming.