Proxtera and Global Fintech Institute (GFI), together with key partners, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have launched a new ‘Green Financing for SMEs’ certificate at the Singapore Fintech Festival, as part of the SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme launched earlier this year.
This is in conjunction with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding amongst the MAS, Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN) of National University of Singapore (NUS) and Global Fintech Institute, to mark the partnership in incorporating sustainability and green finance literacy content in the SFE programme.
The SFE programme is aimed at helping SMEs to build digital literacy skills and develop a good understanding of cross-border financial services relevant to MSMEs. Proxtera is the exclusive lead operating partner for the SFE programme.
The new ‘Green Financing for SMEs’ certificate provides foundational knowledge, actionable guidance, as well as tools and resources that are essential for SMEs to kickstart their sustainability journey. With the support of the Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN), this course is delivered by guest faculty from leading higher education institutions, alongside sustainability and industry experts. Beyond educating businesses on the drivers underpinning sustainability, and different disclosure standards and frameworks, it also lays out steps an SME can take to operationalise sustainability in their business practice by pointing them to relevant data sources required for sustainability reporting, green financing tools and digital solutions.
SMEs make up 90% of businesses worldwide, yet many of them have not incorporated sustainability into their business strategy, decisions, and practices. The new ‘Green Financing for SMEs’ certificate creates awareness about the benefits of adopting a greener business structure and how to participate in green financing.
With US$ to align with the climate goals of The Paris Agreement and the global increase in green financing, it is imperative that we involve SMEs as active partners and collaborators in the collective journey towards sustainability & net zero.
Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a digitally verified certificate issued by GFI, which grants them access to financial services tools and knowledge services through a resource hub.
Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, said “The launch of the Green Financing for SMEs certificate serves to amplify Proxtera’s purpose of driving financial inclusion for businesses as we add more content to SME Financial Empowerment Programme. This course empowers businesses to access green credit. Moreover, SFE provides financial literacy credentials acting as the first step in providing an important indicator on intent to pay.”
Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “Financial education and empowerment of SMEs are building blocks of an economy, and it is important that economies build towards a sustainable future. The development of green finance and sustainability content for SMEs show the commitment from institutes of higher learning, public and multilateral entities to facilitate functional understanding and actionable steps for SMEs, and to catalyse green transformation of business ecosystems from within.”
Professor David Lee, Co-Founder and Chairman of Global Fintech Institute, said “Sustainable development had been much neglected for decades, resulting in inevitable global warming & climate change. This not only destroys natural resources, jeopardizes agricultural and food security, but also leads to increased incidence of disease, increased regional poverty and even mass migration. Sustainable development not only concerns the stability of the people’s livelihood, but also impacts global economic growth. Green finance is an important tool for sustainable development and a key area and driving force for global development. It is timely for us to step up education efforts in guiding MSMEs to embrace sustainable finance with greater urgency. It will not only help enterprises to develop in the right direction, but also to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.”
Associate Professor Johan Sulaeman, Director of Sustainable and Green Financing Institute (SGFIN), NUS Business School, said “SGFIN is excited to support this initiative to empower SMEs to play an active role in sustainable and green finance developments. With SMEs being a vital part of economies around the world, they are critical partners in the adoption of robust sustainable practices and the journey towards a more sustainable world. SMEs need accessibility to critical resources that will help them understand and develop sustainable practices, and gain opportunities to new green capital sources. This Green Financing for SMEs’ certificate programme provides a critical step in the right direction for SMEs to embark on.”