Importance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Finance

Medium Enterprises

Improving SMEs’ access to financing and developing creative ways to open up new financial sources.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in the majority of economies, particularly in developing nations. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make for the vast majority of businesses globally and are critical contributors to employment creation and global economic development. Small businesses should register under the udyam registration online so that they can avail various financial benefits from the departments. 

They account for around 90% of enterprises and more than 50% of global employment. In emerging economies, formal SMEs can account for up to 40% of national income (GDP). When informal SMEs are included, these figures skyrocket. According to our projections, 600 million new jobs will be required by 2030 to accommodate the world’s rising workforce, making SME growth a top priority for many governments throughout the world. 

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) generate the majority of formal jobs in developing countries, accounting for seven out of ten jobs. However, access to capital is a major impediment to SME expansion; it is the second most often stated impediment to SME growth in emerging markets and developing nations. 

SMEs are less likely than large corporations to be able to acquire bank loans; instead, they rely on internal finances or cash from friends and family to begin and initially manage their msme businesses. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), 65 million companies, or 40% of formal micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries.

Have an unmet funding demand of $5.2 trillion per year, which is comparable to 1.4 times the present global MSME lending level. East Asia and the Pacific make up the lion’s share (46 percent) of the total global financial gap, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean (23 percent) and Europe and Central Asia (23 percent) (15 percent ).

The volume of the gap varies greatly from area to region. Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, have the biggest proportions of the funding gap relative to potential demand, at 87 percent and 88 percent, respectively. Approximately half of all formal SMEs do not have access to formal finance. When micro and informal firms are included, the financing gap is much wider.

Suggested Read: Edit Udyam Registration Certificate

MSME Sector Imperative To Lift Indian Economy 

The World Bank Group’s work to boost SMEs’ access to credit and identify creative ways to unlock sources of capital is a significant focus.

Our strategy is comprehensive, integrating advising and loan services for customers in order to boost the contribution of SMEs to the economy, especially underrepresented groups such as women-owned SMEs.

Diagnostics, implementation help, worldwide advocacy, and knowledge sharing of best practises are the major components of advisory and policy support for SME finance. As an example, we present;

Financial sector evaluations are being conducted in order to identify opportunities for improvement in regulatory and policy elements, allowing for improved responsible SME access to credit.

Implementation assistance for initiatives such as the creation of an appropriate environment and the design and implementation of credit guarantee systems.

Improving credit infrastructure (credit reporting systems, secured transactions and collateral registries, and insolvency regimes), which can lead to increased SME funding availability.

Introducing new innovations in SME finance, such as e-lending platforms, alternative data for credit decisioning, e-invoicing, e-factoring, and supply chain financing.

In addition, policy work, analytical work, and other Advisory Services can be offered to support SME funding efforts.

Advocating for SME financing at the global level by engaging in and supporting the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the Financial Stability Board, and the International Credit Committee for Credit Reporting on SME Finance concerns.

Toolkits for knowledge management and landmark publications on best practises, successful models, and policy frameworks. 

Lending Activities:

SME Lines of Credit provide specific bank funding – sometimes for longer terms than are typically available in the market – to help SMEs with investment, growth, export, and diversification.

PCGs (Partial Credit Guarantee Schemes) – The design of PCGs is critical to the success of SMEs, and assistance can be provided to design and capitalise such facilities.

Early Stage Innovation Finance provides equity and debt/quasi-debt to start-up and high-growth companies that would otherwise be unable to obtain bank finance.

Financing for Early-Stage SMEs

The Creative Small and Medium Enterprises (iSME) initiative in Lebanon is a $30 million investment loan operation that provides equity co-investments in innovative new enterprises as well as a grant financing window for seed stage firms. As of August 2019, iSME’s co-investment fund had invested $10.23 million across 22 projects and leveraged $25.47 million in co-financing, indicating its potential to crowd in private sector funding and grow Lebanon’s market for early stage equity finance.

To date, 60 of the 174 grantees have leveraged the iSME investment to raise a total of $13.1 million from other sources, resulting in a leverage ratio of 5.3 times. Overall, stakeholder talks indicate that the iSME project might play an even larger role in the future financing of the Venture Capital (VC) industry by assisting existing VCs and rising players, including a greater emphasis on a fund of funds strategy that could include growth funds (later stage and private equity).

In India, our MSME Growth, Innovation, and Inclusive Credit Project increased MSMEs’ access to finance in three critical yet neglected sectors: early stage/startups, services, and manufacturing. A $500 million credit line was offered to the Small Industry Development Bank of India (SIDBI) to provide an inexpensive longer-term source of capital for disadvantaged MSMEs. A $3.7 million technical assistance component supplemented the lending component and focused on capacity building for SIDBI and the participating financial institutions (PFIs). 

In addition to directly funding MSMEs with a total loan amount of $265 million, the initiative pushed the boundaries of MSME finance by developing novel lending methodologies that shortened turnaround time, targeted more underserved MSMEs, and packed in additional private sector financing. It also sought out new clientele, as well as women-owned MSMEs and MSMEs in low-income states. 

The project assisted SIDBI in scaling up the Fund of Funds for Entrepreneurs, which expects to disburse $1.5 billion to startups indirectly by 2025. SIDBI’s “contactless lending” platform, a digital MSME loan aggregator and matching tool, has accumulated $1.9 billion in private sector funding for MSMEs, making it India’s largest online lender.


The MSME sector is still a long way from being recognized as a bankable and sustainable enterprise. Despite the fact that the government has enacted substantial policies and reforms to strengthen the SME sector, there is still a need to address challenges that affect SMEs at the grassroots level. Banking on SMEs is risky unless they are made really reliable and profitable. Significant industry organizations and other stakeholders should collaborate to stimulate higher activity in the sector and help create more demand for its goods and services, in addition to the government’s activities.