Woman working in a small company.

Exploring the impact of fintech on small business financing

4 December 2023

The article at a glance

Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) join forces again to explore the impact of fintech on MSMEs in Asia Pacific (APAC).

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) are pleased to announce a new research study in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, a collaborative effort to shed light on the utilisation of fintech channels by small businesses in the region.

The ‘MSME Access to Digital Finance Study’ in APAC study aims to provide comprehensive insights into how micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) leverage fintech for their financing needs by surveying the fintech business customers. The research will delve into the impact of digital finance on their business, the key drivers behind choosing digital finance over traditional means, and the implications for governments and policymakers.

Building on the success of the ‘ASEAN Access to Digital Finance Study (2022)’, which focused on Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, the ‘MSME Access to Digital Finance   Study: Findings from Selected emerging and developing markets in the APAC Region’will expand its scope to include additional emerging and developing economies (EMDEs) in the APAC region. The research is crucial in understanding the dynamics of how MSME access finance and the role of fintech in narrowing the funding gap for these businesses in this region, and other impacts related to MSME development.

To ensure the success of this important study, we are collaborating with leading fintech and fintech associations across key EMDE countries in the APAC region.

Who can participate in the study

The study is open to participation from digital lending and digital capital raising fintechs who are offering financing products, including credit/loans and/or assisting in raising capital, etc. to sole-traders and/or MSME customers and have operations in at least one of the key research countries:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Fiji
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Maldives
  • Mongolia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sri Lanka
  • Tajikistan
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam

Study has potential to provide valuable insights on fintech for MSMEs

“This research initiative holds great potential to uncover valuable insights into how fintech is reshaping the financing landscape for micro, small, and medium enterprises in the Asia-Pacific region,” says Peter J. Morgan, Senior Consulting Economist and Vice Chair of Research, ADBI.

“We are collaborating with key players in the fintech industry across the region in this endeavour, contributing to an important research effort about the role of fintech in financial access and capital raising small enterprises. The insights from this research will inform policymakers, regulators, investors, and businesses,” says Krishnamurthy Suresh, APAC Market Researcher, Cambridge Fintech Market Observatory, CCAF.

The resultant report will serve as a public good and will be disseminated across the key stakeholders including policymakers and regulators to further enable sustainable, resilient and inclusive growth of the fintech ecosystem in the region. The survey will launch in early 2024 and the report is expected in Q3 2024.

This article was published on

4 December 2023.