By Sergio Suchodolski
Since early 2020, the world is facing health and economic crisis of immense proportions. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been hard-hit by such economic downturn. SMEs contributions to economic development are vital, however the impact of the crisis to this segment poses critical financing obstacles to their survival and to sustain their role on the economy.
According to the OECD’s SMEs and Entrepreneurship Brazil 2020 Policy, SMEs account for 62% of the nation’s total employment and 50% of national value added. Yet, access to credit at adequate conditions is a growing and critical issue to the segment. SMEs access to credit have contracted since the beginning of the crisis, in addition, the segment deals with higher transaction costs and stricter credit requirements. The credit challenge situation further pressure SMEs that contributes to balancing of gender equality (women led enterprises) and specific sectors such as health and services.
During such challenging times, the Development Bank of Minas Gerais (BDMG) is closely following the impact of the current crisis on the credit access of Brazilian SMEs. Following its mission, the Bank is engaged to maximize efforts to support SMEs during and post-crisis, particularly through offering new financial products and revised credit conditions to respond in an innovative way to the above-mentioned hurdles to SMEs.
In this sense, our project, BDMG Digital, is an online platform created to analyze and grant credit for different needs of SMEs. It is a pioneer initiative among Brazilian development banks. BDMG Digital made online financing possible. Since its launch, more than 75,000 SMEs have requested credit. Credit was granted to 26,000 companies, enabling a disbursement of approximately BRL 1.6 billion.
BDMG Digital main objective is to offer credit in an agile way to a larger number of companies over the 853 municipalities of Minas Gerais. Knowing that SMEs suffer from bureaucracy and strict requirements to obtain credit, the great differential of the platform is to give a quick response to clients without sacrificing operation’s safety. While credit responses before the platform BDMG Digital lasted over 60 days, nowadays the credit result can be delivered in 1 hour. Disbursements can be completed in no later than 4…