Financial Marketplace

Financial Marketplace Relaunch 

Published 27 April 2011

The Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) is proud to announce, with the support of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), the relaunch of the Financial Marketplace platform. The relaunched version is expected to multiply the use of the already successful platform, supporting the growth of hundreds of sustainable small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Initially launched in April 2009, the Financial Marketplace is an online platform that helps sustainable SMEs identify the best potential sources of financing for their business. Recently, this platform has been improved in many ways and extended play a more active role in helping make and manage connections between financial service providers and sustainable SMEs.

As a multi-stakeholder organization spanning both continents and sectors, FAST's overall mission is to support the growth of sustainable production and trade through increasing the number of sustainable SMEs with access to fair, affordable finance. Towards this end, the Financial Marketplace platform provides many tools and services:

  • Clear, accurate listings of financial service providers financing programs targetting sustainable SMEs;
  • A search tool that can instantly identify and 'match' financing options appropriate to a particular business;
  • A contact centre, which allows organizations to track and manage contact with other Financial Marketplace users;
  • Supporting documentation sharing, facilitating financial reporting between sustainable SMEs and financial service providers; and,
  • Learning resources, including a glossary, the FAST guide Financing Your Business, and a comprehensive table of translated terminology to put all of the Financial Marketplace's tools and information in context.

Beyond the main tools and services through the platform, the relaunched version of the Financial Marketplace platform includes a number of more subtle, key improvements 'behind the scenes':

  • Improved accessibility - The new platform has taken a number of steps to make the information it provides more accessible. Apart from a clearer, more easy-to-read layout, accessing the basic information and tools provided by the Financial Marketplace no longer requires a free account.
  • User engagement - The addition of tools that allow financial service providers and sustainable SMEs to manage their contact through the Financial Marketplace is a big step towards more active user engagement in the platform. With this intention, financial service providers will now be able to directly manage their organization's profile and the listings of financing options the offer, helping to keep profiles and listings accurate and up to date.
  • Open standards - In the creation of the supporting documentation tools, FAST chose to adopt a number of standards, including the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for SMEs and eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which will facilitate the flow of information into and out of the Financial Marketplace.

For more information about the FAST or the Financial Marketplace, please visit the main site or contact marketplace [at] fastinternational [dot] org.