How Digital Innovation Can Help Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Access Finance in Asia | Asian Development Bank

At the forefront of growth and development in Asia and the Pacific

How Digital Innovation Can Help Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Access Finance in Asia

Event | 29 - 30 October 2018 Bangkok, Thailand
Time of event



Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a vital role in Asian economies and account for about 70% of the region’s workforce and GDP. To enhance productivity and ensure sustainable growth in Asia, it is vital to provide smooth financing to SMEs.

Traditionally, commercial banks have regarded loans to SMEs as too risky, with high transaction costs. However, new technologies, including distributed ledger technology, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, are becoming means of offering faster, more convenient, and more cost-effective financial services. The digital innovation could help SMEs have easier access to finance through various routes.

The project will identify and develop ideas on how to utilize new technology for SME finance, and encourage financial institutions and investors to further develop credit risk analysis, increase finance, and contribute to sustainable growth of SME sectors. The project will also explore how policy makers and market participants can maximize the benefits and mitigate potential risks arising from the new digital era. ADBI will publish a book on the impact of digital innovation on SME finance. The results will be of value to public and private sectors in Asia.


Investigate the potential benefits of new technologies for SME finance and financial inclusion, including the following topics:

  • How new technology, including artificial intelligence and big data analysis, can change credit assessment of financial institutions and its implication for SME finance
  • How new technology, including block chain, is reshaping trade finance, money transfers, and other SME activities
  • How to leverage alternative funding tools, including crowdfunding, for inclusive growth, and what their implications are for regulatory frameworks and what their potential challenges are for the sound development of the markets
  • Government officials from the financial service agencies, central banks, and others
  • Experts from ADB and the National Credit Bureau, credit risk bureaus, financial institutions, and researchers from think tanks and universities
  • Shared knowledge on and experiences in responding to the challenges of digital innovation and SME access to finance
  • Good case examples of effective uses of digital technology to improve SME access to finance in Asia
  • Publication of ADBI policy briefs, ADBI working papers, or a book on digital innovation and SME access to finance
How to register

By invitation only


National Credit Bureau