Financial Inclusion and Policy Support for small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)

Building accounting capacity to increase MSME financial literacy and facilitate their access to financing
Session Type
Session Themes
Room number
WIF Virtual Platform, room 12
Contact Email
21 October 2021
16:00 - 17:30 Europe/Zurich

The COVID-19 crisis is hitting MSMEs especially hard. Access to finance is of paramount importance for the survival of firms. The promotion of accounting standards that are both aligned with good practice and take into consideration the specific challenges of MSMEs contribute to improvements in access to finance. Services or skills in setting and maintaining proper accounts and generating meaningful financial statements can enhance MSMEs’ chances of accessing financial resources during a global crisis. Thus, increased financial literacy could significantly facilitate MSMEs’ access to financial aid in the post COVID-19 resurgence.

To foster the development of MSMEs and to facilitate their access to finance, joint efforts of international experts and leading authorities from the public and private sectors are required. This specialized event will provide a forum for sharing experiences and envisage strategies to deal with effects of the COVID-19 crisis and MSMEs’ obstacles and needs in accessing finance. The discussions will build on existing standards and tools, including those developed by the Intergovernmental Working Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, such as those contained in SMEGA – Accounting and Financial Reporting Guidelines for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises – Level 3 Guidance, and Accounting Training Manual for MSMEs.

Issues to be addressed

  • Impacts of COVID-19 on MSMEs: The global pandemic has had the worst impact on MSMEs of any sector and tested their resilience, while also triggering creative solutions to keep their activities afloat.
  • Facilitating access to financing and making MSMEs more resilient.
  • Financial literacy and accounting for MSMEs as key factors for accessing financing and enabling MSMEs’ survival and even growth during the pandemic.
  • Financial inclusion and policy support for MSMEs: UNCTAD will present tools and materials to support access to financing and discuss effective and practical government policies for MSMEs.


Chief of Research and Strategies for Exports, UN International Trade Centre (ITC)
Member of the Board, World Union of SMEs; Honorary President, India SME Forum
Professor Emeritus, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Research Supervisor, Durban University of Technology
Governor, General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises
President, National Commission of Micro and Small Enterprises, El Salvador
Chair, thirty-second session of ISAR; Head, Brazilian Network for Integrated Reporting