GET IN TOUCH

Focus Group Discussion on Policy Sandbox Opportunities to Enhance CMSMEs’ Access to Finance

Profile
The Editor
September 28, 2022
Focus Group Discussion on Policy  Sandbox Opportunities to Enhance CMSMEs’ Access to Finance

Bijon Islam, CEO and Co-Founder at LightCastle Partners, outlining the agenda and the key questions for the session

To enhance Bangladesh’s capacity to utilize technology in sustainable development, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), in partnership with a2i, launched the project, “Frontier Technology Policy Experimentation and Regulatory Sandboxes for Sustainable Development”. The project kicked off with two workshops – one virtual and one physical – held in June, with various private and public sector stakeholders to conceptualize regulatory sandboxes to facilitate the Cottage, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (CMSME) landscape in Bangladesh, across four core areas:

  1. Access to Finance
  2. Access to Market
  3. Access to Skills
  4. Access to Service

As a follow-up to the findings from the workshops, UN DESA held a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) session on 13th September 2022, to ideate effective implementation of regulatory sandboxes to support CMSMEs’ access to finance. This session marked the first such discussion to be held by UN DESA and a2i to engage stakeholders in the implementation of regulatory sandboxes for CMSMEs.

Participants engaging during the brainstorming session on regulatory sandboxing for Access to Finance
Participants engaging during the brainstorming session on regulatory sandboxing for Access to Finance

The core focus of the FGD was to conceptualize solutions for operationalizing policy experimentation and regulatory sandboxes in new technologies, in the proposed areas/sectors related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets, and COVID-19 recovery. The FGD aimed to catalyze and support dialogue among key stakeholders to ensure a comprehensive policy brief on regulatory sandboxes on new technologies to support CMSMEs in Bangladesh.

Participants engaged in dialogue on how UBID and a central e-KYC can reimagine access to finance for CMSMEs
Participants engaged in dialogue on how Unique Business Identification (UBID) and a central e-KYC can reimagine access to finance for CMSMEs

The session kicked off with welcome remarks from Vincenzo Aquaro, Chief, Digital Government Branch, Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), and Tohurul Hasan, Digital Financial Service Specialist, a2i. The discussion was then moderated by Bijon Islam, CEO and Co-Founder, LightCastle Partners, during which representatives from major fintech enterprises, financial regulatory bodies, private financial institutions, and international development organizations brainstormed implementation strategies for two key areas for sandboxes: a unique business identification (UBID) and a central, collaborative e-KYC.

Brainstorming session during FGD for Access to Finance

Through an engaging discussion, stakeholders considered the practical implications of creating a single identification number, to reduce the burden of bureaucratic processes for CMSMEs. In particular, participants considered how the development of such systems can be made inclusive while paying equal attention to data privacy. Leading fintech players and development organizations shared their experiences of working with CMSMEs and the need for an incentive structure to align different stakeholders to collaborate on a central database. The session ended with closing remarks from Bijon Islam, with a summary of how the findings from the discussions can be integrated into the way forward.

The event was graced by the presence of representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO), Bangladesh Bank, IDLC Finance Limited, Sheba Platform Limited, TallyKhata, SBK Foundation, Wagely, and Pathao.


Profile
WRITTEN BY: The Editor

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

Want to collaborate with us?

Our experts can help you solve your unique challenges