SMEs face challenges in getting access to funding as well. Lack of financial resources makes it problematic to perform the needed investments in updating knowledge and production equipment. Entrepeneurs face a viscous circle that makes it important to investigate better options for funding of SMEs investing in SCP practices. At the SWITCH-Asia networking event in Beijing (2010) the topic was alreday under discussions. Projects stated:
SMEs require the support of external agents to mainstream the implementation of Sustainable Consumption and Production in their businesses. Financial institutions have a relevant role to play here. They can innovate their own operations and develop market-oriented financial products & services that not only meet SMEs‟ needs, but also make the access to those products & services more available to SMEs. The SWITCH-Asia Network Facility together with external experts wrote two reports concerning access to finance: One targeting SMEs, another on targeting financial institutions.
The first report helps Asian SMEs –regardless the country or the economy sector- to identifythe best financial instruments in order to achieve the three advantages mentioned above. It seeks to provide hints and advices to SMEs on how to integrate SCP and E&RE issues, into the development process of a strategic planning when appliying to financial instruments.
The second report helps Asian and international financial institutions from the private and public sectors realize the importance of redirecting institutional and operational strategies towards access to finance for SCP.
Asian financial institutions face the challenge of developing a compelling value proposition for SME customers while at the same time designing a model that would deliver effectively and profitably. However, financial institutions can derive great business opportunities when allocating financial resources to SMEs for SCP. The business case is clear and attractive. It demands a re-conceptualization of the business and operational strategies of financial institutions. For more information download the report on Access to Finance for Financial Institutions.