Stakeholders gathered to discuss challenges and solutions in addressing MSME financial gap

How can we address the missing middle financing gap for MSMEs? ACN convened a Roundtable on Financial Inclusion for MSMEs in ASEAN  on 27 June 2018 in Singapore to discuss this key finding of a report conducted with ASEAN-Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Oxfam and AVPN.The missing middle gap refers a finding that early- to growth-stage MSMEs requiring ticket sizes of between USD5,000 to USD2 million remain underserved by financiers, usually exceeding upper thresholds for microfinance, but are perceived by financial institutions to be too small and costly.

Participants from the private sector, academia and entrepreneur networks gathered to discuss challenges and solutions in addressing this financing gap. Potential solutions which emerged included improving financial literacy for less advantaged groups such as women entrepreneurs, encouraging more larger companies to incorporate MSMEs into their supply chains and educating social investors on the need to provide smaller ticket sizes as patient capital for early stage MSMEs to grow.

The Roundtable is part of ACN's efforts to socialise the findings of the report "Towards Inclusive and Sustainable Growth in the ASEAN Economic Communityā€¯, which provides a comprehensive look into the MSME landscape in all 10 ASEAN Member States, focusing on the areas of access to finance, technical support and an enabling environment.

The full report is also published with a 6-page summary, factsheets/infographics and a Directory of Financing and Technical Support Options for MSMEs in ASEAN.


ACN CEO Thomas Thomas delivering welcome remarks

 Ms Anh Nguyen, Knowledge Manager at AVPN sharing key findings of the study. She said social enterprises are part of MSMEs. MSMEs are not a a significant focus in ASEAN, legally recognised only in Vietnam. More support for social enterprises are needed to ensure the sustainable growth of this sector.


ACN Programme Manager Ms Melissa Chong sharing the key findings of the study
Mr Oskar from Oxfam sharing about GRAISEA programme that promotes responsible value chains