Asia-Pacific FinTech leaders launch MSME sustainability drive with Programme Sirius

Programme Sirius was launched today with the support of 13 prominent FinTech companies from the Asia-Pacific region, aiming to enhance sustainability and inclusion for Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

This initiative aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and is poised to transform the operational landscape of MSMEs towards more sustainable practices.

The driving force behind Programme Sirius is to provide a knowledge-sharing platform that encourages dialogue and the exchange of innovative ideas on sustainability. This collaborative effort is designed to help MSMEs navigate their sustainability journeys by integrating digital solutions that promote environmental and social responsibility. It facilitates access to sustainable finance and aims to uplift MSMEs by providing them with new growth opportunities in a low-carbon economy.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, alongside Ant International, is developing Digital Sustainability Impact Management Toolkits. These toolkits will assist MSMEs in adopting sustainable practices to enhance their accessibility to green finance through effective digitalization strategies. Meanwhile, Gprnt, an initiative by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, in partnership with Ant International, is set to offer a technology-driven reporting solution aimed at helping MSMEs to manage basic Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) metrics, simplifying sustainability reporting and advancing their business operations.

Thirteen industry partners from 11 different economies, including AlipayHK, ANEXT Bank, and GCash, are among the inaugural supporters of Programme Sirius. This extensive support underscores the significant role of digital platforms in empowering MSMEs towards sustainable business practices.

In addition to helping MSMEs transition to sustainable operations, Programme Sirius aims to foster a community where these enterprises can thrive by overcoming traditional barriers such as complex reporting requirements and high operational costs. By promoting collective action and innovation, the initiative also supports the greater aim of reducing the carbon footprint across supply chains.

During the launch, several key figures provided insights on the importance of this initiative. Leiming Chen, Chief Sustainability Officer at Ant International, emphasized the importance of sustainability for MSMEs, highlighting the need for collective efforts across sectors to facilitate this transition. Martha Sazon, President and CEO of GCash, discussed the role of digital solutions in bridging MSMEs to more democratic financial services, which are essential for their growth and sustainability. Christina Ongoma, from IFC, and Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, also underscored the critical role of digital platforms and collaborative initiatives in supporting MSME sustainability.

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