A No-Brainer for SMEs: How Solar Can Help Small Businesses Recover from COVID-19 – And Save Money in the Long Term
The coronavirus lockdown is leaving many small- and medium-sized enterprises – especially in emerging economies – on life support. As businesses restart, they will be seeking ways to boost their cash position. According to Philippe Flamand at candi solar, shifting to solar can save SMEs money from day one – if funders can help them overcome a key obstacle.
This lack of resources exists worldwide, with the most substantial finance gap in the East Asia and Pacific region, followed by Latin America and the Caribbean. SMEs in emerging markets need alternative methods to secure the financing necessary to sustain their businesses.
Press Release: Grameen America Launches Economic Relief and Recovery Fund for Low-Income, Women Small Business Owners in the Wake of COVID-19
Nonprofit microfinance organization Grameen America today announced that it has launched the Grameen America Economic Relief and Recovery Fund, with the goal of raising $72 million to provide essential capital and support to the low-income women entrepreneurs the organization serves.
- North America
Banking on Human Capital: What Financial Institutions Need to Do – Now – to Enable a COVID-19 Recovery
Every crisis carries its own unique signature, and COVID-19 is likely to be defined by a series of flare-ups and lockdowns, says Elisabeth Rhyne at the Financial Access Initiative. Within that scenario, the financial inclusion sector needs to determine the most effective ways to reduce the pandemic's impact on vulnerable people and businesses – and it needs to start immediately.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model is allowing small businesses around the world to compete with larger firms at a fraction of the cost. However, as Greg Mitchell at Angel Ventures points out, in markets like Latin America, the rise of SaaS has been slow and difficult. He explores how that dynamic is changing, and how SaaS is boosting the region's small businesses.
The Informal Economy is Complicating Government Responses to COVID-19: Will the Crisis Push Millions Toward Formality?
As COVID-19 devastates the global economy, many governments have designed support measures to help businesses and workers survive. But as Jill Lagos Shemin and James Dailey point out, this support may be ineffective in lower-income countries, where most small businesses and their employees work in the informal economy, lacking bank accounts and even valid ID. They explore some solutions governments can pursue – and trade-offs they will have to accept.
Earlier this year, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership announced that it was spinning off from the Clinton Foundation, where it had been an initiative since its founding in 2007. The independent organization, now called Acceso, works to build businesses and connect them to the broader marketplace – particularly in Latin America. Its founder, Frank Giustra, discusses its new focus and ongoing work in this Q&A.
The coronavirus is forcing us all to do things differently. But as Donna Rosa argues, in some cases that may be a good thing. For instance, microenterprises in low-income countries have long needed basic business management skills, yet the development sector has often failed to deliver this training effectively. Now, as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes many interactions online, she argues that it’s time to increase the focus on distance coaching for these small businesses.