Media Release

Empowering SMEs with insights and tools to access green finance

Published on 19/11/2023

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 (Intermediate)’ certificate at the Singapore Fintech Festival, as part of the SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme.

With the support of Centre for Impact Investing and Practices (CIIP) and the National University of Singapore Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN) as knowledge partners, this course is delivered by guest faculty from leading higher education institutions and industry sustainability experts.

The SFE programme ( is aimed at helping MSMEs build financial, digital literacy skills and understand cross-border financial services relevant to them. Enhanced financial literacy in SMEs has been shown to enhance firm sustainability. Given the global shift toward green financing and climate goals, and the fact that many SMEs have yet to embrace sustainability despite representing 90% of global businesses, it is crucial that we involve MSMEs as active partners in the journey towards sustainability & net zero. Thus, in 2022, Proxtera launched a foundational and beginner module called ‘Green Financing for SMEs’.

The new ‘Green Financing for MSMEs (Intermediate)’ certificate provides comprehensive insights and practical tools to integrate sustainability into MSMEs’ business operations, access green financing, report on their sustainability efforts, and pursue certifications for further business and financing opportunities.

Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a digitally verified certificate jointly issued by GFI, SGFin and Proxtera which grants them access to financial services tools and knowledge services through a resource hub. Another new course, “Leveraging Cross Border Payments and FX Markets for SMEs”, was also launched in October 2023 at the Financial Fitness Fair in the Philippines. Proxtera is the exclusive lead operating partner for the SFE programme.

Associate Professor Zhang Weina, Deputy Director of SGFIN, quotes, “SMEs are such important players in greening our economies going forward. It is important for SGFIN to be part of the knowledge partners to contribute to their learning journeys to adopt sustainable business models, scale up sustainable technological innovations, and re-optimize their operational activities in the global trend of decarbonization. To achieve a sustainable economic system, we need everyone to play his/her respective roles, and undoubtedly SMEs are at the core of building a resilient and dynamic ecosystem.”

Dawn Chan, Chief Executive Officer of CIIP, said, “We are pleased to support the new certificate programme as a knowledge partner. In making available our courses and case studies that are relevant to MSMEs in developing markets, we aim to raise awareness of impact best practice among enterprises, and encourage such enterprises to avidly pursue positive social and environmental impact.”

Christina Lee, Founder & CEO of Global Green Connect (GGC), said “MSMEs play a pivotal role in our economy.  By empowering them with the practical knowledge and tools to transition in the low carbon economy is critical for their business future success and Singapore 2030 Green Plan. GGC is honoured to be part of this significant milestone programme.”

Benjamin Soh, Founder and Managing Director at STACS, said “As part of our commitment to digitally enable SMEs towards sustainable development and ESG compliance amidst increasing ESG regulations across Europe and Asia, we are delighted to be powering a module in Proxtera’s SME Financial Empowerment Green Financing (Intermediate) programme through ESGpedia. The programme aims to empower SMEs to learn and immediately take the first step towards sustainability reporting, through a free Starter Tool on the ESGpedia platform.”

Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, adds “With 95% of businesses worldwide being MSMEs, it is imperative we include them in the sustainability journey, beginning with empowerment in the form of education. The launch of the certificate on Green Financing for SMEs (Intermediate) serves as a catalyst, providing the SMEs with the foundation, tools and knowledge needed to thrive in a global landscape concentrating on sustainability.”

Professor David Lee, Co-Founder and Chairman of Global Fintech Institute, said "Many MSMEs often defer embarking on their sustainability journeys until it becomes a necessity, mainly due to concerns about the perceived high costs of 'going green'. However, in this intermediate instalment of the 'Green Financing for SMEs' course, we aim to dispel such apprehensions. Drawing upon insights from diverse subject matter experts and offering practical frameworks and technological tools in collaboration with our esteemed knowledge and industry partners, the SFE programme has taken another step forward in propelling awareness. We would like to encourage these businesses to embrace sustainability as a core business principle and become more resilient in the long run."

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