Proxtera launches SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme in Asia & Africa – More than 400k MSMEs to benefit from upskilling in digital financial literacy

SINGAPORE, June 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Proxtera, together with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has launched an open financial education and action programme for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Asia and Africa.

The SME Financial Empowerment (SFE) programme is a digital portal operated by Proxtera that aims to help MSMEs build foundational digital financial literacy skills, and gain a good understanding of cross-border financial services relevant to MSMEs, to help them thrive in the post-pandemic digital economy. Proxtera is proud to be the exclusive lead operating partner for the SFE program.

SFE was rolled out on 14 June with market partners in Asia and Africa, starting with Ghana, India, the Philippines, and Singapore, and will benefit more than 400,000 MSMEs across both regions.

Saurav Bhattacharyya, Chief Executive Officer of Proxtera, said “We are proud to be the exclusive lead partner of the programme, and running the programme office that ideates, manages and implements the rollout. The SFE programme stays true to our mission of supporting MSMEs, by upskilling them to understand financial services and how best to tap into the digital marketplace effectively and globally. SFE provides that first step for individuals to embark on a journey of digital transformation, where their understanding and digital competencies mature over time, and they become part of an integrated ecosystem that allows them to truly trade business-sans-borders.”

The SFE programme will cover three key areas as a focus for 2022 – Essential Financial Digital Skillset, MSME Financial Services, and Digital Economy Access & Growth. The inaugural launch provides two certification courses that were developed in collaboration with UNDP, IFC, MAS, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and the Global FinTech Institute (GFI):

Foundational Financial Literacy covers basic financial concepts and financial products essential for MSMEs. Global Financial Literacy equips MSMEs with the knowledge to connect to the digital economy and expand internationally by leveraging networks, financial services, fintech solutions and digital tools.

We would like to acknowledge the support that has been received from a wide range of early sponsors and partners, including:

(A)  Academy Partners: Ant Group, Visa
(B)  Regional Partners: Globe Telecom, Digital Pilipinas, Development Bank Ghana
(C)  Community Sponsors: Validus
(D)  Community Partners: Bolttech, Coface, Consolidated Bank of Ghana, Philippines Department of Trade and Industry Philippine Trade Training Center, M1xchange and GlobalLinker

Businesses will be able to receive a digitally verifiable certificate issued by SUSS and GFI, that grants access to financial services tools and knowledge services through a resource hub.


Proxtera is an open and neutral hub connecting B2B marketplaces, service providers, and trade associations digitally to simplify and amplify trade for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Proxtera’s mission is to transform Business to Business trade using technology to make marketplaces efficient and discoverable globally, to enable holistic cross-border trade through services for financing and fulfillment, empowerment, and financial trust-building.

Proxtera was launched in 2020 as the commercialization of the Business sans Borders (BSB) initiative by MAS and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA). BSB seeks to develop a global digital infrastructure that would help to increase cross-border trade opportunities and enhance digital and financial inclusivity for SMEs in the underserved global B2B e-commerce market space.

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