Experts have advocated best practices for entrepreneurial financing, including for women-owned small and medium enterprises, SMEs and youth entrepreneurship.
The experts, according to a statement by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, UNIDO also discussed ways to establish information and technical assistance platforms for Member States in this respect at a meeting that ended in New York.
The statement said the two-day event was organized by UNIDO in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund, UNCDF and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNDESA Financing for Development Office.
“Today’s event is important in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, in particular with a view of the ongoing negotiations for the Third Financing for Development Conference,” said Krishnan Sharma, from the Financing for Development Office at UNDESA.
“Although SME financing is in large part private, there is a clear role for governments and financing mechanisms to play in order to overcome existing challenges.
“Efforts shall be made to reduce the risks surrounding lending to SMEs, including establishing credit information bureaus to make information on SMEs more available; undertaking legal and regulatory reforms to enhance protection of creditors; and strengthening the capacity of financial institutions in undertaking cost-effective credit evaluation”, he added.
UNIDO Representative to the United Nations in New York, Paul Maseli, said “Entrepreneurship is crucial to increase job opportunities, shift towards more inclusive, sustainable and equitable growth, unlock innovation and technology development, and facilitate inclusive and sustainable industrial development.”
Deputy Director of the Financial Inclusion Practice Area at UNCDF, John Tucker, underlined the need for inclusive financial mechanisms to target underserved groups, such as youth and women.
UN Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, Ahmad Alhendawi, also highlighted the particular difficulties young entrepreneurs face when accessing financial and non-financial services, adding: “Entrepreneurship is important for employment creation in a time when 74 million young people worldwide are looking for a job.”
According to the statement, participants identified a number of key recommendations to Member States and international organizations, which include creating a more conducive regulatory and financial framework at the country level; incentivizing and promoting education on entrepreneurship; investing in strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem; and establishing a monitoring platform to analyze financial support given to startups and SMEs.
They also recognized the value of the UNIDO-led initiative on entrepreneurial finance, and agreed to establish close collaboration between key stakeholders to work on a final report and a source kit for governments, as well as to set up synergies and scaling-up to increase impact of operations at the country level.
It informed that a full report will be presented at the Third Financing for Development Conference that will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015.

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