The virtual event GEF Consultations with Civil Society on Inclusive Microfinancing was held on June 17 in advance of the 62nd GEF Council meeting, and was organized by the GEF Secretariat in collaboration with the GEF CSO Network, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP), the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group (IPAG), and with support from youth organizations.
This event allowed beneficiaries – youth, women, and Indigenous Peoples and local communities (IPLCs) in particular – and other GEF partners to share their experiences with GEF approaches and engagement with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The proposed GEF-8 Programming Directions outline mechanisms to accelerate partnerships with financial intermediaries such as local microfinance institutions (MFIs) as executing partners who can expand services to underserved MSMEs/smallholder farmers on the front lines of environmental change. A GEF Small Grants Programme proposal further incorporates an innovative CSO initiative and MSME pilot to explore new opportunities to strategically leverage GEF agencies’ existing partnerships and projects with local financial intermediaries and MFIs to provide technical assistance and financing to MSMEs.
Similar to previous consultations, this event brought the voices of civil society and Indigenous Peoples and local communities into a dialogue with GEF Council members, GEF agencies, the GEF Secretariat, youth organizations, and other stakeholders.