Ashoka at the G20 Seoul Summit

G20 members commit half a billion dollars to the  winners of the SME Finance Challenge

At today's closing ceremonies of the Group of 20's Seoul Summit, Ashoka Vice President Bill Carter joined US President Barack Obama, Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on stage to announce and congratulate the fourteen winners of the G20's Small and Medium Enterprise Challenge. Two Ashoka Fellow orgnanizations--William Foote's Root Capital and Vineet Rai's Aavishkaar--were among the winners.

In its first foray into open sourcing, the G20 had asked Ashoka to identify innovative finance models for SMEs in the emerging world through Changemakers.com online platform for sourcing innovative solutions (and with support from The Rockefeller Foundation).

To help the winners of the challenge scale their groundbreaking ideas, the members of the Group of 20 have committed more than half a billion dollars to a newly-formed SME Finance Innovation Fund.  The new fund and additional funding pledged by the members of the G20 represent incredibly significant public and private sector cooperation to solve some of the world's toughest problems.

To read about all of the winning ideas, click here.

This article was originally published on November 12, 2010
Related TopicsBusiness & Social Enterprise, Financial services / markets, Microfinance, Social Entrepreneurship

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