CIMB ESG-SME Pitch Challenge to Empower Sustainability-Focused SMEs
CIMB Group Holdings Berhad announced the CIMB ESG-SME Pitch Challenge to help ASEAN SMEs with sustainability-focused business models or operations seek equity capital to expand their business. The ESG-SME Pitch Challenge debuts at CIMB Group's The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit.
The CIMB ESG-SME Pitch Challenge exposes promising SMEs to possible investors to improve their operations and chart their next growth phase. SMEs are invited to apply to participate in the competition, with shortlisted participants receiving coaching and guidance via preparatory workshops by CIMB's partners, pitchIN, a crowdfunding platform for private investors, and the Private Financing Advisory Network, a global network of climate and clean energy financing experts hosted by UNIDO that provides free business coaching and investment advice. PwC Malaysia, a supporting partner of The Cooler Earth, will give a workshop on designing an ESG strategy for SMEs before the Pitch Challenge.
The top 10 applicants will get the opportunity to pitch their businesses and raise RM10 million from equity investors, including venture capital, private equity firms, impact investors, government-linked investment companies, and high-net-worth individuals.
Applications will be accepted until September 2, 2022. Participating SMEs must be focused on a green, social, or sustainable impact area, aligned with the CIMB Group's Green, Social, and Sustainable Impact Products and Services (GSSIPS) Framework, revenue-generating, based in ASEAN, and have sustainability integrated into their business and operations.
Dato’ Abdul Rahman Ahmad, Group Chief Executive Officer of CIMB Group, said:
“We are excited to introduce the CIMB ESG-SME Pitch Challenge as part of our flagship The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit, which plays a dual role as our latest initiative in expanding CIMB’s support for the empowerment of SMEs in the region while encouraging sustainability innovation amongst ASEAN entrepreneurs. We hope this dynamic event platform will see the convergence of high-potential SMEs and a diverse range of investors and become a launching pad for green, social, and sustainable SMEs to scale up their businesses.”
Malaysian SMEs will contribute 37% of the country's GDP in 2021. CIMB strives to help green, social, and sustainable SMEs access investors wanting to invest in enterprises with an environmental or social effect.
The CIMB ESG-SME Pitch Challenge brings together pitchIN, PFAN, and PwC Malaysia to promote sustainability-focused SMEs. Together, they'll deliver practical expertise on technical and financial capacity building, and sustainability initiatives, exposing SMEs to sustainable practices and investor insights.
The competition aims to help SMEs raise equity capital and network with investors, corporations, and other entrepreneurs. Successful SMEs can also explore CIMB's financial solutions like GreenBizReady, as well as pitchIN and PFAN's programmes and tools to achieve their company goals.
The Cooler Earth Sustainability Summit will be held from September 20–24, 2022. The hybrid Summit intends to bring together global experts, business leaders, financiers, investors, and governments to design a more sustainable future.
This year's Summit, titled "Facilitating a Just Transition," reflects on advancing global climate action following COP26 in Glasgow while ensuring climate solutions and social development blueprints are inclusive, equitable, and just for all stakeholders.