12 November 2010
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today congratulated the 14 winners of the G-20’s Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance Challenge, including Canadians Scott Gilmore and Bailey Klinger.
G-20 Leaders launched the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance Challenge at the Toronto Summit in June 2010 to seek private sector ideas on how governments and public institutions can be more effective in helping small and medium-sized enterprises obtain private financing.
"It is with great pride that I congratulate Scott Gilmore, Bailey Klinger and all their fellow winners on the impressive achievements and innovations," said Prime Minister Harper. "These individuals are a testament to what the international community can accomplish when they work together towards a common goal."
Mr. Gilmore is the founder and Executive Director of the Peace Dividend Trust, a non-profit organization that finds, tests and promotes new ideas for improving peace and humanitarian operations. His winning model for the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance Challenge will provide loan guarantees to local small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries, based on the merits of the international procurement contracts they have won. These loan guarantees will stimulate economic growth and job creation in post-conflict and post-disaster economies by ensuring that local companies have equal access to international contracts.
Mr. Klinger is co-founder and Director of the Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, and a fellow at Harvard’s Center for International Development. His winning proposal addresses the problem banks face in identifying potential small and medium-sized enterprise borrowers who do not have collateral or a credit history. Using tools to evaluate credit risk and potential for repayment, banks will have the information necessary to lend to high potential small and medium-sized enterprises, thereby increasing the number of enterprises with access to loans.
The Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance Challenge, which is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and run by Ashoka’s Changemakers, used the G-20’s reach and convening power to find the best models from around the world. Response to the Challenge was very strong, with 354 entries received.
The G-20 has committed to mobilizing funding necessary to implement winning models of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance Challenge, including through a newly created innovation fund that will be administered by the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank. The Government of Canada will provide $20 million to the fund.
For information on the winners of the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance Challenge and their projects, visit www.changemakers.com/SME-Finance