Generali and UNDP launched “Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund” to build SME resilience

Successful winners will each be awarded up to US$40,000, including financial and technical support

Kuala Lumpur – Generali and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have announced the launch of  “Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund” (IICF) and are seeking proposals from participants nationwide focusing on innovative insurance solutions to build small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) resilience in Malaysia.

The submissions should offer long-term sustainable solutions to safeguard SMEs against climate and other risks, be it through scaling up existing solutions, or partnering with diverse distribution channels and integrating new technology solutions. Products can cover, for example, stock and machinery, business continuity, staff, specific or multiple risks. 

The IICF will facilitate and incentivize the development of two or more solutions through an open selection process in the country. Winners will each be awarded up to US$40,000 including financial and technical assistance to support the development of their proposed solutions. 

Excited by this joint endeavor with UNDP, Fabrice Benard, CEO of Generali Insurance Malaysia Berhad states that it is part of Generali’s broader commitment to raise awareness and promote insurance as a key tool to drive financial inclusion among SMEs who are highly vulnerable to risks.

“SMEs account for about 97% of total businesses in Malaysia1 – they are not only the bedrock of the country’s economy, but also a priority to us at Generali. It is important for us, as a responsible insurer and citizen, to use our skills, resources and expertise to create opportunities for them to grow and empower them with access to insurance and risk mitigation solutions. Together with UNDP, we hope to bring in ideas through this meaningful initiative and source collective ways to boost the protection gap and drive resilience for the SMEs,” Fabrice adds. 

Since 2022, Generali has been working with UNDP to develop insurance and risk finance solutions globally. Continuing on the partnership, Generali and UNDP are currently developing a loss prevention framework for SMEs to harness the power of data, awareness and understanding of risks for businesses in vulnerable communities. In addition to IICF and the framework, there will also be an Asian edition of Generali’s flagship SME EnterPRIZE project, which has already successfully been running in Europe over the past 2 years.

Interested participants wishing to apply for the IICF can submit their application and supporting documents to by 27 November 2023. There will be two virtual Q&A briefing sessions held on 31st October 2023 and 8th November 2023, 3:30pm to answer any questions relating to the IICF. Kindly register here to attend the virtual session on 31st October 2023. For more information, please visit

 Source: Profile of MSMEs in 2016 – 2022 (