Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in catalyzing private sector development and economic growth in emerging economies. The World Bank estimates SMEs in emerging economies are responsible for about 60 percent of total employment and 40 percent of national income. Yet SMEs face steep challenges accessing capital—a tool that is critical to the commercial success of any company, and a key factor in launching and scaling businesses that drive economic growth. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates there is a trillion dollar gap between the current supply of financing available to micro-, small-, and medium-sized (MSMEs) enterprises and their demand for financing. The credit-financing gap represents market opportunity for financial institutions to develop profitable ways of serving these enterprises.
WDI’s Finance team focus area identifies and implements ways for funders and financial institutions to profitably lower the cost of capital available to SMEs in emerging economies. We conduct independent research and work with faculty and students at the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business on projects designed to develop innovative mechanisms to lower the cost of capital. For example, in collaboration with faculty and students at Michigan Ross, the U-M Law School, as well as funders and in-country partners, WDI is developing an SME-focused investment fund in India. Learn more about this and other important projects below.
Ekta Jhaveri is a senior research associate in the Healthcare and Finance sectors. She has extensive background in international development, most notably through her work at the World Bank where her work focused on education and social protection issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and East Asia and Pacific (EAP) regions. She led various initiatives for the Bank’s Global Child Labor Program and managed key partnerships with UNICEF and ILO. Her professional experience also includes working at Meritor, Inc., a leading automotive supplier company, where she was part of the Emerging Leaders Development Program.
We work to identify ways for financial institutions to profitably lower the cost of capital available to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. We test new business models and help local partners bring them to scale. Learn more about our core competencies and how we might partner toward shared solutions.